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From the Library 

of 
PADRAIG 6 BROIN 



.'' 

. 







The Celtic Library 



LYRA CELTICA 




LYRATCELTICA 

AN ANTHOLOGY OF REPRE- 
SENTATIVE CELTIC POETRY 

EDITED BY ELIZABETH A. SHARP WITH IN- 
TRODUCTION ANDWOTES BY WILLIAM SHARP 



ANCIENT IRISH ALBANY 
GAELIC BRETON CYMRIC 
AND MODERN SCOTTISH 
S IRISH CELTIC POETRY. 




PATRICK GEDDES AND 
COLLEAGUES @S@)THE 
LAWNMARKET EDINBURGH 
MDCCCXCVI 



PS 

l/oo 




CO'NTENTS 



a troubled Eden, rich 

In throb of heart " 



GEORGE MEREDITH 



CONTENTS 

PACE 

INTRODUCTION xvii 

ANCIENT IRISH AND SCOTTISH 

The Mystery of Amergin .... 3 

The Song or Fionn ...... 4 

Credhe's Lament ...... 5 

Cuchullin in his Chariot 6 

Deirdre's Lament for the Sons of Usnach . . 8 

The Lament of Queen Maev . . . . 10 

The March of the Faerie Host . . . . 12 

Vision of a Fair Woman . . . . . 13 

The Fian Banners 14 

The Rune of St Patrick . . . . . 17 

Columcille cecenit 18 

Columcille fecit ...... 20 

The Song of Murdoch the Monk . . 22 
Domhnull Mac Fhionnlaidh : "The Aged 

Bard's Wish" 23 

Ossian Sang 28 

Fingal and Ros-crana 29 

The Night-Song of the Bards .... 31 

The Death-Song of Ossian .... 41 

ANCIENT CORNISH 

The Pool of Pilate 44,45 

Merlin the Diviner 46 

The Vision of Seth . 47 

EARLY ARMORICAN 

The Dance of the Sword . . . . . 53 

The Lord Nann and the Fairy .... 55 

Alain the Fox 58 

Bran ... 60 



viii LYRA CELTICA 

EARLY CYMRIC AND MEDIEVAL WELSH 

PAGE 

The Soul . 67 

LLYWARC'H HEN 

The Gorwynion 68 

The Tercets of Llywarc'h . . . . 72 

TALIESIN 

Song to the Wind 73 

ANEURIN 

Odes of the Months . . . . . 75 

DAFYDD AP GWILYM 

The Summer . .... . . 78 

To the Lark ...... 81 

RHYS GOCH (of ERYRI) 

To the Fox ...... 82 

RHYS GOCH AP RHICCART 

The Song of the Thrush . . . . 83 

IRISH (MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY) 

" A.E." 

Sacrifice 87 

The Great Breath 88 

Mystery . . . ... . 89 

By the Margin of the Great Deep . . 90 

The Breath of Light 91 

WILLIAM ALLINGHAM 

^Eolian Harp 92 

The Fairies . ... . . . 93 

THOMAS BOYD 

To the Li anli aim Shee . . . . 95 

EMILY BRONTE" 

Remembrance . . . . . . 97 

STOPFORD A. BROOKE 

The Earth and Man ..... 98 

Song 99 



CONTENTS UK 

IRISH (MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY) 

Continued 

JOHN K. CASEY PACK 

Maire, my Girl 101 

Grade Og Machree . . . . . 103 

GEORGE DARLEY 

Dirge . 104. 

AUBREY DE VERB 

The Little Black Rose . . . . 105 

Epitaph 106 

FRANCIS FAHY 

Killiney Far Away 107 

SIR SAMUEL FERGUSON 

Cean Dubh Deelish 109 

Molly Asthore no 

The Fair Hills of Ireland . . . . 112 

ALFRED PERCIVAL GRAVES 

Herring is King 113 

The Rose of Kenmare . . . . 115 

The Song of the Pratee . . . 118 

Irish Lullaby 120 

GERALD GRIFFIN 

Eileen Aroon . . . . . . 121 

NORA HOPPER 

The Dark Man 123 

April in Ireland 124 

The Wind among the Reeds . . . 125 

DOUGLAS HYDE 

My Grief on the Sea . . , . 126 

The Cooleen . . . . . . 127 

The Breedyeen . . . . . . 128 

Nelly of the Top-Knots . . . . 130 

I shall not Die tor Thee . . . . 132 

LIONEL JOHNSON 

The Red Wind 133 

To Morfydd . . . . . . 134 



x LYRA CELTICA 

IRISH (MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY) 

Continued 

DENIS FLORENCE MACCARTHY PAGE 

A Lament 135 

JAMES CLARENCE MANGAN 

The Fair Hills of Eire, O ! 137 

Dark Rosaleen .... 139 

The One Mystery 142 

ROSA MULHOLLAND 

The Wild Geese 144 

RODEN NoSL 

Lament for a Little Child . . . . 146 

The Swimmer 148 

The Dance .... 151 

From "The Water-Nymph and the Boy" . 152 

A Casual Song . . . . . . . 1 54 

The Pity of it 155 

The Old . . ...... . . 157 

CHARLES P. O'CONOR 

Maura Du of Ballyshannon . . .158 

JOHN FRANCIS O'DONNELL 

A Spinning Song 160 

JOHN BOYLE O'REILLY 

A White Rose 161 

ARTHUR O^SHAUGHNESSY 

The Fountain of Tears . . . . 162 

FANNY PARNELL 

After Death 165 

T. W. ROLLESTON 

The Dead at Clonmacnois . . . 166 

DORA SIGERSON 

Unknown Ideal . . . . 167 

GEORGE SIGERSON 

Mo Cailin Donn . . .'.... . 168 



CONTENTS xi 

IRISH (MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY) 

Continued 

JOHN TODHUNTER PAGE 

An Irish Love Song . . . . . 170 

The Sunburst ...... 171 

Song . 173 

KATHERINE TYNAN 

Winter Sunset . . . . . . 174 

Shamrock Song . . . . 176 

Wild Geese 178 

CHARLES WEEKES 

Dreams 179 

Poppies . . . . . . . 1 80 

W. B. YEATS 

They went forth to the Battle, but they 

always fell . . . . . . 181 

The White Birds 183 

The Lake of Innisfree . . . . 184 

SCOTO-CELTIC (MIDDLE PERIOD) 

Prologue to " Gaul " 187 

In Hebrid Seas . . . . . . 189 

Cumha Ghriogair Mhic Griogair . . . 191 

Drowned . . . . . . . . 194 

ALEXANDER MACDONALD 

The Manning of the Birlinn . . . 195 
ANGUS MACKENZIE 

The Lament of the Deer . . . 201 
DUNCAN BAN MAC!NTYRE 

Ben Dorain ...... 203 

The Hill-Water 208 

MARY MACLEOD 

Song for Macleod of Macleod . . . 210 



xii LYRA CELTICA 

MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY SCOTO-CELTIC 

PAGE 

Monaltri 217 

An Coineachan A Highland Lullaby . . 218 
A Boat Song 219 

JOHN STUART BLACKIE 

The Old Soldier of the Gareloch Head . 222 

ROBERT BUCHANAN 

Flower of the World .', . . . 224. 

The Strange Country . . . . 225 

The Dream of the World without Death . 228 

The Faery Foster-Mother . . . . 235 

LORD BYRON 

When we Two Parted .... 238 

Stanzas for Music 239 

Colin's Cattle . 240 

MacCrimmon's Lament 241 

IAN CAMERON 

Song ....... 24.2 

JOHN DAVIDSON 

A Loafer . . . ....... . . 243 

In Romney Marsh 245 

JEAN GLOVER 

O'er the Muir amang:the Heather . . . 246 

GEORGE MACDONALD 

Song . . . . . . . 247 

RONALD CAMPBELL MACFIE 

Song 249 

WILLIAM MACDONALD 

A Spring Trouble 250 

AMICE MACDONELL 

Culloden Moor 251 

ALICE C. MACDONELL 

The Weaving of the Tartan . . . 252 



CONTENTS xiii 

MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY SCOTO- 

CELTIC Continued 

WILLIAM MACGILLIVRAY PAGE 

The Thrush's Song . . . . . 254 

FIONA MACLEOD 

The Prayer of Women . . . . 255 

The Rune of Age . . . . . 257 

A Milking Song 259 

Lullaby ....... 261 

The Songs of Ethlenn Stuart . . . 262 

The Closing Doors . . . . . 264 

The Sorrow of Delight .... 265 

NORMAN MACLEOD 

.Farewell to Fiunary . . . . . 266 

SARAH ROBERTSON MATHESON 

A Kiss of the King's Hand . . . 267 

DUGALD MOORE 

The First Ship 268 

LADY CAROLINE NAIRNE 

The Land o' the Leal . . . . 269 
ALEXANDER NICOLSON 

Skye 270 

SIR NOEL PATON 

Midnight by the Sea 272 

In Shadowland 273 

WILLIAM RENTON 

Mountain Twilight ..... 274 
LADY JOHN SCOTT 

Durisdeer . . . . . . . 275 

EARL OF SOUTHESK 

November's Cadence . . . . 276 

JOHN CAMPBELL SHAIRP 

Cailleach Bein-y-Vreich .... 277 
UNA URQUHART 

An Old Tale of Three .... 279 
ANON. 

Lost Love . . 280 



xiv LYRA CELTICA 

CONTEMPORARY ANGLO-CELTIC POETS 
(WALES) 

GEORGE MEREDITH PAGE 

Dirge in Woods . . . . . 283 

Outer and Inner . . . . . 284 

Night of Frost in May . . . . 286 

Hymn to Colour . . . . 289 

SEBASTIAN EVANS 

Shadows . . . . . . . 292 

EBENEZER JONES 

When the World is Burning . . . 293 

The Hand . . . . . . 294 

EMILY DAVIS 

A Song of Winter 296 

ERNEST RHYS 

The Night Ride 297 

The House of Hendra .... 298 

CONTEMPORARY ANGLO-CELTIC POETS 
(MANX) 

T. E. BROWN 

The Childhood of Kitty of the Sherragh Vane 307 
HALL CAINE 

Graih my Chree 309 

CONTEMPORARY ANGLO-CELTIC POETS 
(CORNISH) 

A. T. QUILLER COUCH 

The Splendid Spur 317 

The White Moth .".... 318 

STEPHEN HAWKER 

Featherstone's Doom . . . . 319 

Trebarrow . . . . . . 320 

RICCARDO STEPHENS 

Witch Margaret . . . . 321 

A Ballad 323 

Hell's Piper 325 



CONTENTS xv 

MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY BRETON 

PAGE 

The Poor Clerk 331 

The Cross by the Way 333 

The Secrets of the Clerk 335 

Love Song 336 

HERVE-NOML LE BRETON 

Hymn to Sleep 338 

The Burden of Lost Souls . . . 340 

VlLLIERS DE I/ISLE-ADAM 

Confession 34Z 

Discouragement 34.3 

LECONTE DE LISLE 

The Black Panther 344 

The Spring 346 

LEO-K.ERMORVAN 

The Return of Taliesen .... 348 

LOUIS TlERCELIN 

By Menec'hi Shore 351 

THE CELTIC FRINGE 

BLISS CARMAN 

Song 355 

The War-Song of Gamelbar . . . 356 

Golden Rowan . . . . . . 359 

A Sea Child 360 

ELLEN MACKAY HUTCHINSON 

The Quest . . . . . . 361 

Moth Song . . . . . . 362 

June 363 

HUGH M'CULLOCH 

Scent o 1 Pines 364 

DUNCAN CAMPBELL SCOTT 

The Reed-Player 365 

THOMAS D'ARCY M'GEE 

The Celtic Cross 366 



xvi CONTENTS 

THE CELTIC FRINGE Continued. 

MARY C. G. BYRON PAGE 

The Tryst of the Night .... 368 

ALICE E. GILLINGTON 

The Doom-Bar 369 

The Seven Whistlers . . . . 371 



NOTES . . . . . . . 375-422 



INTRODUCTION 



INTRODUCTION 

IN this foreword I must deal cursorily with a great 
and fascinating subject, for "Lyra Celtica" has 
extended beyond its original limits, and Text and 
Notes have absorbed much of the space which had 
been allotted for a preliminary dissertation on the 
distinguishing qualities and characteristics of Celtic 
literature. 

For most readers, the interest of an anthology is 
independent of any introductory remarks : the appeal is 
in the wares, not in the running commentary of the 
hawker. For those, however, who have looked for a 
detailed synthesis, as well as for the Celticists who may 
have expected an ample, or, at least, a more adequately 
representative selection from the older Celtic literatures, 
I have a brief word to say before passing on to the 
matter in hand. 

In the first place, this volume is no more than an 
early, and, in a sense, merely arbitrary, gleaning from 
an abundant harvest. For "Lyra Celtica" is not so 
much the introduction to a much larger, more organic, 
and more adequately representative work, to be called 
"Anthologia Celtica," but is rather the outcome of the 
latter, itself culled from a vast mass of material, ancient, 
mediaeval, and modern. It is, moreover, intentionally 
given over mainly to modern poetry. "Anthologia 
Celtica" may not appear for a year or two hence, 
perhaps not for several years ; for a systematic effort 
to compile a scholarly anthology, on chronological and 
comparative lines, of the ancient poetry of Irish and 
Scottish Gaeldom, of the Cymric, Armorican, and other 



xx LYRA CELTICA 

Brythonic bards, is a task not to be lightly undertaken, 
or fulfilled in anything like satisfactory degree without 
that patience and care which only enthusiastic love of 
the subject can give, and for which the extrinsic reward 
is payable in rainbow-gold alone. 

In the second place, all that was intended to be written 
here, will be given more fully and more systematically in 
a volume to be published later: "An Introduction to the 
Study of Celtic Literature." Therein an effort is made 
to illustrate the distinguishing imaginative qualities of 
the several Celtic races ; to trace the origins, dispersion, 
interfusion, and concentration of the early Celtic, Picto- 
Celtic, and later Goidelic and Brythonic peoples, and to 
reflect Celtic mythopceic and authentic history through 
Celtic poetry and legendary lore. Concurrently there is 
an endeavour to relate, in natural order, the develop- 
ment of the literature of contemporary Wales, Brittany, 
Ireland, and Celtic Scotland, from their ancient Cymric, 
Armorican, Erse, and Alban-Gaelic congeners. 



It is not yet thirty years ago since Matthew Arnold 
published his memorable and beautiful essay on Celtic 
Literature, so superficial in its knowledge, it is true, 
but informed by so keen and fine an interpretative spirit; 
yet already, since 1868, the writings of Celtic specialists 
constitute quite a library. 

Of recent years we have had many works of the 
greatest value in Celtic ethnology, philology, history, 
archaeology, art, legendary ballads and romances, folk-lore, 
and literature. Of all the Celtic literatures, that which 
was least known, when Arnold wrote, was the Scoto- 
Gaelic ; but now with books such as Skene's "Celtic 
Scotland," Campbell's "Popular Tales of the West 
Highlands," with its invaluable supplementary matter, 
Dr Cameron's "Reliquiae Celticae," and many others, 
there is no difficulty for the would-be student. Again, 



INTRODUCTION xxi 

it is impossible to overrate the value of popular books 
at once so able, so trustworthy, and so readily attainable, 
as Professor Rhys's "Celtic Britain," or Dr Douglas 
Hyde's "Story of Early Gaelic Literature"; while Breton 
literature, ancient or modern, has found almost as many, 
and certainly as able and enthusiastic, exponents as that 
of Wales or that of Ireland. In Ireland there is, with 
Mr Standish Hayes O'Grady, Dr Douglas Hyde, Dr 
Sigerson, and many more, quite an army of workers in 
every branch of Celtic science and literature ; in Scotland 
one less numerous perhaps, but not less ardent and justly 
enthusiastic ; and in Wales the old Cymric spirit survives 
unabated, from the Butt of Anglesea to the marches of 
Hereford. In Brittany there was, till the other day, 
Hersart de la Villemarque, and now there are M. de 
Jubainville, M. Loth, M. Anatole Le Braz, M. Auguste 
Brizeux, Charles Le Goffic, Louis Tiercelin, and many 
more philologists and other students, poets, romancists, 
and critics. Cornwall has not been neglected, nor has 
Man, and even the outlying fringe of Celtdom has found 
interpreters and expounders. In France the " Revue 
Celtique " ; in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, Gaelic or 
Welsh or Anglo-Celtic periodicals and "Transactions," 
stimulate a wider and deeper interest, and do inestim- 
able service. The writings of men such as Renan, De 
Jubainville, Valroger, and other French Celticists : of 
Windisch, Kuno Meyer, and other Germans : of English 
specialists such as Mr Whitley Stokes, Mr Alfred Nutt, 
and others : these, together, and in all their different 
ways of approach, are, along with the writings of native 
specialists in Ireland, Wales, and Scotland, accomplish- 
ing a work greater than is now to be measured or 
even accurately apprehended. 

To all who would know something authentic con- 
cerning the history of the Celtic race since its occupation 
of these Isles, and of a large section, and latterly of a 
corner, of Western Europe, I would recommend Professor 



xxii LYRA CELTICA 

Rhys's admirable little book, "Celtic Britain," a volume 
within the reach of all. In the Irish National Library, 
the volumes of which are sold at a trifling sum, may be 
had Dr Douglas Hyde's lucid and excellent exposition 
of early Gaelic literature ; and, among valuable popular 
contributions to Anglo-Celtic Literature, mention should 
be made of the Rev. Nigel MacNeilPs "Literature of the 
Highlanders." These three books alone, each priced at 
a moderate sum, will give a reader, hitherto ignorant of 
the subject, much trustworthy information on the his- 
tory, ethnology, and literature of the Irish and Scottish 
Gael. I know of no "popular" book on early Welsh 
literature, and certainly none that, in trustworthiness, 
has superseded Stephens's "Literature of the Cymri." 
Mr Norris has introduced us to much ancient Cornish 
writing which it would have been a pity to let lapse 
uncollected : and of MM. Villemarque, De Jubainville, 
Valroger, Le Braz, and other Breton specialists I have 
already spoken. 

It would seem reserved for this coming century, says 
Dr Hyde, unless a vigorous, sustained, and national 
effort at once be made, to catch the last tones of "that 
beautiful, unmixed Aryan language which, with the ex- 
ception of that glorious Greek which has now renewed 
its youth like the eagle, has left the longest, most lumi- 
nous, and most consecutive literary track behind it of 
any of the vernacular tongues of Europe." But, alas, a 
stronger law than that which man can make or unmake, 
or nations can resolve, is slowly disintegrating the subsoil 
wherefrom the roots of the Celtic speech draw the sole 
nurture which can give it the beauty and fragrance of life. 

Some idea of the vastness of the mass of the as 
yet untranslated Celtic literature may be had from the 
notes in books by Dr Douglas Hyde, J. F. Campbell, 
Alfred Nutt, and other specialists. In the National 
Libraries in Great Britain alone it is estimated that, 
if all the inedited MSS. were printed, they would fill at 



INTRODUCTION xxiii 

least twelve hundred or fourteen hundred octavo volumes. 
Those who would realise more adequately the extent and 
importance of this early literature should, besides the 
authorities already mentioned, consult Eugene O'Curry's 
invaluable "Manners and Customs," and in particular 
the section of 130 pp. devoted to Education and Litera- 
ture in Ancient Erinn, which deals with the most impor- 
tant Irish-Gaelic poets from the earliest times down to 
the eleventh century: the likewise invaluable "Myvyrian 
Archaiology," which sets forth an imposing list of Cymric 
poets, with much information concerning life in Ancient 
Wales: and books such as Campbell's "Leabhar na 
F&nne," and "Tales of the West Highlands," MacNeill's 
" Literature of the Highlanders," and (though for students 
rather than the general reader) the writings of Skene, 
Anderson, Whitley Stokes, Nutt, and many others. 

Modern Irish-Celtic literature may be said to date 
from O' Donovan's superb redaction and amplification of 
"The Annals of the Four Masters," one of the monu- 
mental achievements in world-literature, on the side of 
scholarship; and from Keating's "History of Ireland," 
on the side of popular writing. Since O' Donovan and 
Keating, the literary activity of Ireland has again and 
again re-asserted itself, and is once more so much in 
evidence, in Celtic scholarship and in Anglo-Celtic 
romance and poetry, that the not over-ready attention 
of England is perforce drawn to it. 

The contemporary Anglo-Celtic poetry of Ireland has 
a quality which no other English poetry possesses 
in like degree : the quality which Matthew Arnold 
defined as natural magic "Celtic poetry drenched in 
the dew of natural magic." Obviously, the lover of 
poetry may at once object that Shakespere, Milton, 
Coleridge, Shelley, Keats, are English, and Byron, 
Burns, and Scott are Scottish, and not distinctively 
Anglo-Celtic. Well, of Shakespere's ancestry we know 
little ; and if Celtic enthusiasts maintain that he must 



xxiv LYRA CELTICA 

have had a strong Celtic strain in his blood, they may 
be innocent blasphemers, but do not deserve crucifixion 
for their iniquity. Milton was of Welsh blood through 
his maternal descent ; and Keats is a Celtic name. 
Keats' mother's name is Welsh of the Welsh, while his 
genius is as convincingly Celtic in its distinguishing 
qualities as though he were able to trace his descent 
from Oisin or Fergus Honey-Mouth of "the Fingalians." 
Keats, born a Cockney, is pre-eminently a Celtic poet, 
by virtue of the nationality of the brain if for no other 
authentic reason ; while Moore, born in Ireland of Celtic 
ancestry, is the least Celtic of all modern poets of emin- 
ence. So far as we know, Coleridge and Shelley are of 
unmixed English blood, though who can say there was 
nothing atavistic in their genius, and that the wild lyricism 
of the one and the glamour and magic of the other were 
not in part the expression of some "ancestral voice"? 

Of the three great modern Scots, it is still a debat- 
able point if Burns was not more Celtic than "Lowland," 
that is, by paternal as well as by maternal descent; 
and it surely is almost unquestionable that, in the geo- 
graphy of the soul, Burns' natal spot must be sought in 
the Fortunate Isles of Celtdom. Byron, of course, though 
far more British than Scottish, and again more Scottish 
than Celtic, had a strong Celtic strain in his blood ; 
and Scott, as it happens, was of the ancient stock, and 
not "the typical Lowlander" he is so often designated.* 

The truth is, that just as in Scotland we may come 
upon a type which is unmistakably national without 
being either Anglo-Saxon or Celtic or Anglo -Celtic, 



* Apropos, let me quote a word or two from Dr 
Douglas Hyde : " We all remember the inimitable 
felicity with which that great English-speaking Gael, 
Sir Walter Scott, has caught," &c. (with this note) 
"Both the Buccleugh Scots, and the other four branches 
of the name, were originally Gaelic-speaking Celts." 



INTRODUCTION xxv 

but which, rightly or wrongly, we take to be Pictish 
(and possibly a survival of an older race still), so, 
throughout our whole country, and in Sussex and 
Hampshire, as well as in Connemara or Argyll, we 
may at any moment encounter the Celtic brain in the 
Anglo-Saxon flesh. In Scotland, in particular, it may 
be doubted if there are many families native to the soil 
who have not at least a Celtic strain. People are apt 
to forget that Celtic Scotland does not mean only the 
Western Isles and the Highlands, and that the whole 
country was at one time Celtic (Goidelic), and before 
that was again Celtic, when Brythonic or Cymric Scot- 
land and the Dalriadic Scoto-Irish of Argyll, and the 
northern Picts, who were probably Gaels, or of kindred 
Celtic origin, held the land, and sowed the human seed 
whence arose much of the finest harvest of a later 
Scotland. 

Here I may conveniently quote a significant passage 
from "Celtic Britain": 

" This means, from the Celtic point of view, that the 
Goidelic race of history is not wholly Celtic or Aryan, 
but inherits in part a claim to the soil of these islands, 
derived from possession at a time when, as yet, no 
Aryan waggoner had driven into Europe; and it is, 
perhaps, from their Kynesian ancestry that the Irish of 
the present day have inherited the lively humour and 
ready wit, which, among other characteristics, distinguish 
them from the Celts of the Brythonic branch, most of 
whom, especially the Kymry, are a people still more 
mixed, as they consist of the Goidelic element of the 
compound nature already suggested, with an ample 
mixture of Brythonic blood, introduced mostly by the 
Ordovices. And as to Welsh, it is, roughly speaking, 
the Brythonic language, as spoken by the Ordovices, and 
as learned by the Goidelic peoples they overshadowed 
in the Principality of Wales. To this its four chief 
dialects still correspond, being those, respectively, of 



xxvi LYRA CELTICA 

Powys, Gwent or Siluria, Dyved or Demetia, and 
Venedot or Gwynedd. 

"Skulls are harder than consonants, and races lurk 
when languages slink away. The lineal descendants of 
the neolithic aborigines are ever among us, possibly even 
those of a still earlier race. On the other hand, we can 
imagine the Kynesian impatiently hearing out the last 
echoes of palaeolithic speech ; we can guess dimly how 
the Goidel gradually silenced the Kynesian ; we can 
detect the former coming slowly round to the keynote 
of the Brython ; and, lastly, we know how the English- 
man is engaged, linguistically speaking, in drowning 
the voice of both of them in our own day. Such, to 
take another metaphor, are some of the lines one would 
have to draw in the somewhat confused picture we have 
suggested of one wave of speech chasing another, and 
forcing it to dash itself into oblivion on the western con- 
fines of the Aryan world ; and that we should fondly 
dream English likely to be the last, comes only from 
our being unable to see into a distant future pregnant 
with untold changes of no less grave a nature than 
have taken place in the dreary wastes of the past." 

To return : among the great English and Scottish 
writers of to-day two may be taken as examples of 
this brain-kinship with a race physically alien. Much of 
the poetry of Algernon Charles Swinburne is distinctively 
Celtic, particularly in its lyric fire and wonderful glow 
and colour, as well as its epithetical luxuriance ; but, 
indeed, this is hardly a good instance after all, for Mr 
Swinburne's north-country ancestry is not without defi- 
nite Celtic admixture. "Tristram of Lyonesse" is, in its 
own way, as Celtic as "The Voyage of St Brendan," 
and with more of innate inevitableness than in those 
lovely Celtic reflections in the essentially English brain 
of Tennyson, "The Dream" and "The Voyage of 
Maelduin." 

As for Robert Louis Stevenson, come of Lowland 



INTRODUCTION xxvii 

stock, and, as he said himself once, " made up o' Lallan 
dust, body and soul," there is not, so far as I know, 
any proof that a near paternal or maternal ancestor 
was of Celtic blood. But who, that has studied his 
genius, can question the Celtic strain in him, or who 
believe that, though "the Lallan dust" may have been 
unadulterate for generations, the brain which conceived 
and wrought "The Merry Men" and "Thrawn Janet" 
was not attuned to Celtic music ? There is a poem of 
his which seems to me typically Celtic in its indescrib- 
able haunting charm, its air of I know not what rare 
music, its deep yearning emotion, and its cosmic note 

41 In the highlands, in the country places, 
Where the old plain men have rosy faces, 
And the young fair maidens 
Quiet eyes ; 

Where essential silence cheers and blesses., 
And forever in the hill-recesses 
Her more lovely music 
Broods and dies, 

O to mount again where erst I haunted ; 
Where the old red hills are bird-enchanted, 
And the low green meadows 
Bright with sward ; 

And when even dies, the million tinted, 
And the night has come, and planets glinted, 
Lo, the valley hollow 
Lamp-bestarred ! 

O to dream, O to awake and wander 

There, and with delight to take and render, 

Through the trance of silence, 

Quiet breath ; 

Lo ! for there, among the flowers, and grasses, 

Only the mightier movement sounds and passes ; 

Only winds and rivers, 

Life and death." 



xxviii LYRA CELTICA 

Of course there is a certain poignant note common to 
all poetry, and he might be a zealous Celticist, but a 
poor worshipper of Apollo, who would try to limit this 
charm of exquisite regret and longing to Celtic poetry. 
It is an unfrontiered land, this pleasant country in the 
geography of the soul which we call Bohemia ; and 
here all parochial and national, and even racial dis- 
tinctions fall away, and Firdausi and Oisin, Omar the 
Tentmaker and Colum the Saint, and all and every 
" Honey-Mouth " of every land and time, move in equal 
fellowship. Even in one of the most haunting quatrains 
by any modern Anglo-Celtic poet 

"O wind, O mighty melancholy wind, 

Blow through me, blow! 
Thou blowest forgotten things into my mind, 
From long ago " 

we must not forget the elder music of one who is 
among the truest of the poets of Nature whom the 
world has seen : though neither in brain nor, so far as 
we know, in blood, had Wordsworth any kinship with 
the Celt the music "Of old, unhappy, far-off things." 

By a natural association, "Ossian" comes to mind. 
It is pleasant to think that a book like "Lyra Celtica" 
appears just at the centenary of James Macpherson. 
Macpherson died in 1796, but long before his death his 
reputed "Ossian" had become one of the most vital 
influences in literature. This is not the occasion to go 
into the "Ossian" dispute. It must suffice to say that 
the concensus of qualified opinion decides (i) That 
Macpherson's "Ossian" is not a genuine rendering of 
ancient originals; (2) that he worked incoherently upon 
a genuine but unsystematised, unsifted, and fragmentary 
basis, without which, however, he could have achieved no- 
thing; (3) that inherent evidence disproves Macpherson's 
sole or even main authorship as well as "Ossian's," and 
that he was at most no more than a skilful artificer; 



INTRODUCTION xxix 

(4) that, if he were the sole author, he would be one of 
the few poetic creators of the first rank, and worthy of 
all possible honour; (5) that no single work in our 
literature has had so wide-reaching, so potent, and so 
enduring an influence. 

Much of the tragic gloom, of which "Ossian" is a 
true mirror, colours even contemporary Scoto- Celtic 
poetry ; and though in Gaelic there is much humorous 
verse, and much poetry of a blithe, bright, and even 
joyous nature, the dominant characteristic is that of 
gloom, the gloom of unavailing regret, of mournful long- 
ing, a lament for what cannot be again. True, in a 
Gaelic poem by Mary Mackellar, a contemporary High- 
land poet, we hear of 

Spioraid aosmhoir tir nan Gaidheal, 
Ciod an diugh a's fath do 'n ghairich 
'Dhuisg thu comhdaichte le aighear, 
As an uaigh 's an robh thu'd 'chadal? 

(Spirit of the Gaelic earth 
Wherefore is this mirth unwonted 
That hath waked thee from the tomb, 
And to triumph turned thy gloom ?) 

but, alas ! that fine line, " Spioraid aosmhoir tir nan 
Gaidheal" is not an invocation to the Gaelic muse to 
arouse herself to a new and blither music, but is simply 
part of some congratulatory lines of a "Welcome to 
the Marquis of Lome on his union with the Princess 
Louise"!* 

The "Spirit of the Gaelic earth" does not make fo 
mirth, as a rule, at least in the Highlands, save in verse 
of a frankly Bacchanalian or satiric kind. 

In this, there is a marked contrast with the Irish- 



*"Failte do Mharcus Latharna 's do 'Mhnaoi oig 
Rioghail." 



xxx LYRA CELTICA 

Gaelic, whose muse is laughter-loving though ever with 
"dewy dark eyes." 

If, however, the blithe and delightful peasant poetry 
of Mr Alfred Percival Graves, and that so beautifully 
translated and paraphrased by Dr Douglas Hyde, be 
characteristically Irish, so also is such typically Celtic 
poetry as this lyric by the latest Irish singer, Miss 
Moira O'Neill 

"SEA WRACK." 
The wrack was dark an' shiny where it floated in the 

sea, 
There was no room in the brown boat but only him an' 

me ; 

Him to cut the sea wrack me to mind the boat, 
An' not a word between us the hours we were afloat. 
The wet wrack, 
The sea wrack, 
The wrack was strong to cut. 

We laid it on the grey rocks to wither in the sun ; 
An' what should call my lad then to sail from Cushendun? 
With a low moon, a full tide, a swell upon the deep, 
Him to sail the old boat me to fall asleep. 

The dry wrack, 

The sea wrack, 

The wrack was dead so soon. 

There's a fire low upon the rocks to burn the wrack to 

kelp ; 
There's a boat gone down upon the Moyle, an' sorra 

one to help. 

Him beneath the salt sea me upon the shore- 
By sunlight or moonlight we'll lift the wrack no more. 
The dark wrack, 
The sea wrack, 
The wrack may drift ashore. 



INTRODUCTION xxxi 

When we come to examine the literature of the four 
great divisions of the Celtic race, a vast survey lies 
before us, with innumerable vistas. A lifetime might 
well be given to the study of any one of the ancient 
Erse, Alban- Gaelic, Cymric, and Armorican literatures : 
a lifetime that would yet have to leave much undis- 
covered, much unrelated. There is room for every 
student. In old Irish literature alone, though so many 
enthusiasts are now working towards its greater eluci- 
dation and the transference of the better part of it into 
Anglo-Celtic literature, there remain whole tracts, and 
even regions, of unexploited land. In a score of ways, 
pioneers have been clearing the ground for us : philolo- 
gists like Windisch, Loth, Kuno Meyer, Whitley Stokes ; 
literary scholars like S. Hayes O'Grady, Campbell of 
Islay, Cameron of Brodick, Dr Douglas Hyde; folk- 
lorists innumerable, in Scotland, Wales, and Ireland ; 
romancists like Standish O'Grady, who write across 
the angle of the historic imagination, and romancists 
like W. B. Yeats, who write across the angle of the 
poetic imagination ; and poets, an ever - growing band 
of sweet singers, who catch for us the fugitive airs, 
the exquisite fleeting cadences, the haunting, indefinable 
music of an earlier day. 

From Ireland the Neo-Celtic Renascence has extended 
through Gaeldom. The concurrent Welsh development 
may be independent of this Irish influence, and probably 
is : largely because the poetic imagination of the Cymri 
of to-day was stirred from within, by the stimulus to the 
national genius through the world-wide attention drawn 
by the publication of the " Mabinogion," as in turn the 
Gaelic imagination was stirred by the incalculable influence 
of "Ossian" an influence so great, so deep, so wide-reach- 
ing, that, as already said, were Macpherson to be proved 
the sole author, were it convincingly demonstrable that 
he was, not a more or less confused and unscholarly 
interpreter, but himself a creator, himself "Ossian," he 



xxxii LYRA CELTICA 

would deserve to rank with the three or four great 
ancients and moderns who have dug, deep and wide, 
new channels for the surging flow of human thought. 
Possibly, at any rate, this may prove to be one good 
reason for the independence of the Welsh development 
from any Irish stimulus an impulse from within always 
being more potent and enduring than one from without ; 
but, fundamentally, this independence is due to an organic 
difference. In a word, the Celtic genius is broadly divi- 
sible, even at this day, into two great sections : the Goidelic 
and the Brythonic or Cymric let us say, is represented 
by the Welsh Celt and the Gaelic Celt. Those readers 
or students who approach the literature of either, ancient 
or modern, but particularly the latter, and expect to find 
identity both of sentiment and in method of expression, 
will ultimately be as disappointed as one who should, 
with the same idea, approach Spanish and Portuguese, 
or Dutch and German, or Provencal and French. In 
every respect, save that of ancient kinship, the Welsh 
and the Gaels differ materially. There is, perhaps, more 
likeness between the Highlander and the Welshman 
than between the latter and the Irishman ; but even 
here the distinctions are considerable, and the Gaelic 
islesman of Barra or Uist is as different a creature 
from the native of Glamorgan or Caermarthen as though 
no racial cousinship united them. But, in the instance 
of Welsh and Irish, the unlikeness is so marked that 
the best analogue is that of the Frenchman and the 
German. The Irish are the French of the Celtic races, 
the Welsh the Germans. The two people are distinct 
in their outer and inner life as well as in their literature ; 
and for a Connaught man or a Hebridean to go through 
Wales would be as foreign an experience as for a 
Welshman to find himself among the Catholic islesmen 
of South Uist, or among the moorside villages of 
Connemara. 

To-day the Gael and Cymri are foreigners. Strangely 



INTRODUCTION xxxiii 

enough, the section of the Celtic race most akin to the 
Welsh is the Manx a Goidelic people, and with a 
Gaelic dialect. The Gael himself, however, does not 
stand out distinctly. Although there is a far greater 
likeness between the Scoto-Celt and the Irish-Celt than 
between either and the Welshman, there are traits which 
unmistakably distinguish them. In Ireland itself, the 
Celt of the south-east and south differs in more respects 
than mere dialect from his kinsman by the Connaught 
shore or of the hills of Connemara ; as, in Scotland, 
there is a marked distinction between the "Tuathach" 
(North Highlander) and the "Deasach" (the South and 
West Highlander). A Farquharson or a Gordon from 
Aberdeenshire has to shake hands across the arms of 
many a Mackenzie and Macgregor, many a Cameron 
and Macpherson, before he can link in brotherly grip 
with a MacNeill of Barra, a Macdonald of Skye, a 
Macleod of the Lewis. These distinctions, of course, are 
in their nature parochial rather than racial ; but they are 
highly indicative of a fundamental weakness in the Celtic 
nature, and suggest a cogent reason for the failure of 
the race to cohere into one compact and indispersable 
nation, as the central Teutonic races merged into 
"Germany," as Gauls, Normans, and Provencals merged 
into " France," and as the Brythons, the Teutonic out- 
landers (Frisians, Angles, Jutes, &c.), Saxons, Danes, 
Normans, and Anglo-Celts merged into " England," 
and, later, into " Great Britain," into the " British 
Empire." 

The most marked Celtic national homogeneity is to 
be found in Wales. Wales has ever persisted, and 
still persists in her moat and her drawbridge. In the 
preservation of her language is her safeguard. Without 
Welsh, Wales would be as English as Cumberland or 
Cornwall. In this way only, knit indissolubly to the 
flank of England as she is, and without any natural 
eastern frontier of mountain range or sea, can she 



xxxiv LYRA CELTICA 

isolate herself; and I am convinced that herein we 
have one main reason for the passionate attachment of 
the Cymri of to-day to their ancient language an 
attachment as strong among the unlettered as among 
ardent scholars, and even among those who have no 
heed for the beauty of traditional literature or, indeed, 
heed of any kind other than for the narrow personal 
interests of domesticity. 

But this very isolation of Wales, through her language, 
has, no doubt, interfered materially with the development 
of her Anglo-Celtic literature. Contrasted with that of 
Ireland or that of Scotland, how astonishingly meagre 
it is. All Ireland is aflame with song ; Scotland is again 
becoming the land of old romance. Here and there are 
a few writers, a poet-romancist like Mr Ernest Rhys, a 
poet like the late Emily Davis, a few novelists who 
are Welsh by the accident of birth rather than by the 
nationality of the brain. For, of course, Mr George 
Meredith stands so far above all localisation of this 
kind that it would be out of place to rank him merely 
as the head of contemporary Wales. He is the foremost 
Anglo-Celtic voice of to-day ; so emphatically foremost, 
by the distinguishing qualities of his genius, that if 
to-morrow he were proved to be come of a stock of 
long unmixed Saxon ancestry never dissociated from 
that southern country of which he is by birth a native, 
we should be justified in abiding by the far more signifi- 
cant and important lineage of the brain. 

But this great exception apart, the difference alluded 
to is extraordinary. Wales is so animated by national 
enthusiasms, pride, and incalculable hereditary uplift, 
that her silence in English, that is can hardly be 
accounted for away from the supposition that, in closing 
her ears against English, she has also set her lips 
against utterance in that tongue. 

The Scoto-Celtic writers of to-day, both in prose and 
poetry, have produced more Anglo-Celtic literature than 



INTRODUCTION xxxv 

Wales has done since the beginning of the century, and 
with a range, a vitality, a beauty, far beyond anything 
that has come forth from modern Cymru ; and Ireland, 
again, in poetry at any rate, has given us even more than 
Scotland. 

The Celtic Renascence, of which so much has been 
written of late that is, the re-birth of the Celtic genius 
in the brain of Anglo-Celtic poets and the brotherhood 
of dreamers is, fundamentally, the outcome of " Ossian," 
and, immediately, of the rising of the sap in the Irish 
nation. 

Of the immense and never yet approximately defined 
Irish-Celtic influence in literature a fine and true word 
has been said by one of the ablest of the Irish fellow- 
ship ; and I would strongly urge every reader to obtain 
Mr Stopford Brooke's admirable and stimulating little 
essay "On the Need and Use of getting Irish Literature 
into the English Tongue." * With its conclusion, every 
lover of English poetry and romance will agree. 

"When we have got the old [Celtic] legendary tales 
rendered into fine prose and verse, I believe we shall 
open out English poetry to a new and exciting world, 
an immense range of subjects, entirely fresh and full 
of inspiration. Therefore, as I said, get them out into 
English, and then we may bring England and [Celtdom] 
into a union which never can suffer separation, and 
send another imaginative force on earth which may 
(like Arthur's tale) create Poetry for another thousand 
years." 

These are inspiring words, and should find an eager 
response. 



* Published by Mr Fisher Unwin at a shilling. The 
reader will have to discount Mr Brooke's over-emphasis 
on the word Irish, which he frequently uses instead of 
Celtic, even when alluding to Scoto- Celtic literature 
and influence. 



xxxvi LYRA CELTICA 

More and more we may hope that the beautiful poetry 
of Ireland, ancient and modern, with its incommunicable 
charm and exquisite spontaneity ; that the strange, 
elemental, sombre imagination of the West Highlander 
and of the Gael of the Isles ; and that the vivid spell of 
the old Welsh bards, will, before long, become a still 
greater, a still more regenerating, and a lasting force and 
influence in our English literature. 



In the Notes I have something to say concerning each 
of the many ancient and modern writers drawn upon 
for this representative anthology, so need not here 
enter into further detail of the kind. 

Obviously, it would be impossible to make a work of 
this nature as welcome to the Celtic scholar as to the 
general reader. No one in the least degree acquainted 
with ancient Gaelic and Cymric literature could fail 
to note how merely superficial this section of "Lyra 
Celtica" is. Therefore, let me again aver that this 
anthology has been compiled, not for the specialist, 
but for the lover of poetry ; and to serve, for the 
many who have no knowledge of " Anglo - Celtic " 
as distinct from "Anglo-Saxon" poetry, as a small 
Pisgah whence to gain a glimpse into a strange and 
beautiful land, a land wherein, as in a certain design by 
William Blake, the sun, the moon, and the morning 
star all shine together, and where the horizons are 
spanned by fugitive rainbows ever marvellously dis- 
solving and more marvellously re-forming. 

The effort of the Editor has been to give, not always 
the finest or most unquestionably authentic examples of 
early Celtic poetry, but the most characteristic. Thus 
only could some idea be conveyed of the physiognomy 
of this ancient literature. 

In the first section, that representative of Early 
Gaelic, a long period of time is covered. A whole 



INTRODUCTION xxxvii 

heroic age lies between that strange pantheistic utterance 
of Amergin, who is now accepted as the earliest Erse 
poet of whom we have authentic record, and the hymns 
of Columba : and the quaint "Shaving Hymn" of 
Murdoch the Monk, though it precedes the Ossianic 
fragments, relates to a much nearer period of history 
than they do. Of these Ossianic fragments, it is not 
needful to say more here than that, in their actual form, 
they are no more genuinely old than, for example, are 
many of the lovely fantasias on old themes by modern 
Irish poets. They are, at most, fundamentally ancient, 
and are given here on this plea, and not as the transla- 
tions of Macpherson. The day is gone when the 
stupid outcry against Macpherson's "Ossian," as no 
more than a gigantic fraud, finds a response among 
lovers of literature. We all know, now, that Mac- 
pherson's " Ossian " is not a genuine translation of 
authentic Dana Oisin mhic Fhionn, but, for all its 
great and enduring beauty, a clumsily - constructed, 
self-contradictory, and sometimes grotesquely impossible 
rendering of disconnected, fugitive, and, for the most 
part, oral lore. Of the genuineness of this legendary 
lore there is no longer any doubt in the minds of those 
native and alien students, who alone are qualified to 
pronounce a definite verdict on this long disputed point. 
It would have been easy to select other Ossianic 
fragments ; but as, in this anthology, the spirit and not 
the letter was everything, it was considered advisable 
to make as apt a compromise with Macpherson's 
"Ossian" as practicable. Ancient poetry of the nature 
of pieces such as " The Song of Fionn " (page 4) 
convey little to the ordinary reader, not only on 
account of their puzzling allusions to events and per- 
sons of whom the Englishman is not likely to have 
heard, or from the strangeness of their style, as 
because of the remoteness of the underlying sentiment 
and mental standpoint. And of this there can be no 



xxxviii LYRA CELTICA 

question : that the ancient poetry, the antique spirit, 
breathes throughout this eighteenth-century restoration, 
and gives it enduring life, charm, and all the spell of 
cosmic imagination. It may well be, indeed, that the 
literary historian has another signal discovery to make, 
and, in definitively dissociating Oisin of the Feinn and 
Ossian of Badenoch, prove convincingly that James 
Macpherson was not even the author (of the greater part 
at any rate) of the matter that has been interpolated 
into the original, inchoate, traditional bardic lore. 

However much or little appeal "Ossian" may have 
for English readers of to-day, there can surely be no 
doubt that all who have the spirit of poetry must recog- 
nise the charm of the ancient Celtic imagination in 
compositions such as "Credhe's Lament" (page 5). 
This lovely haunting lament, from the " Book of Lis- 
more," comes in its English form from that invaluable 
work of Mr S. Hayes O'Grady, "Silva Gadelica." Of 
how much Celtic poetry, modern as well as ancient, is 
not this, though variously expressed, the refrain : 
"Melodious is the crane, and O melodious is the crane, 
in the marshlands of Druim-da-thren I 'tis she that may 
not save her brood alive ! " 

For the remarkable continuity of both expression and 
sentiment which characterises Celtic poetry, ancient and 
modern, let the student turn, for example, to the most 
famous Gaelic poem in Scotland to-day, Duncan Ban 
Macintyre's "Ben Dorain," and compare it with this 
"Lay of Arran" by Caeilte, the Ossianic bard Arran, 
no longer Arran of the many stags, but still one of the 
loveliest of the Scottish isles, and touched on every 
headland and hill with the sunset glamour of the past. 



INTRODUCTION xxxix 

CAEILTE LAY OF ARRAN.* 

" Arran of the many stags the sea impinges on her 
very shoulders 1 an island in which whole companies 
were fed and with ridges among which blue spears 
were reddened! Skittish deer are on her pinnacles, 
soft blackberries upon her waving heather ; cool water 
there is upon her rivers, and mast upon her russet oaks ! 
Greyhounds there were in her, and beagles ; blaeberries 
and sloes of the blackthorn ; dwellings with their backs 
set close against her woods, and the deer fed scattered 
by her oaken thickets ! A crimson crop grew on her 
rocks, in all her glades a faultless grass ; over her crags 
affording friendly refuge, leaping went on and fawns 
were skipping ! Smooth were her level spots her wild 
swine they were fat; cheerful her fields (this is a tale 
that may be credited), her nuts hung on her forest 
hazel's boughs, and there was sailing of long galleys 
past her 1 Right pleasant their condition all when the 
fair weather sets in : under her rivers' brinks trouts lie ; 
the sea-gulls wheeling round her grand cliff answer one 
the other at every fitting time delectable is Arran!" 

Again, most readers will be able to apprehend the 
delight of the barbaric outlook in compositions such as 
"Cuchullin in His Chariot," which has been excerpted 



* "On the first day of the Trogan-month, we, to the 
number of Fianna's three battalions, practised to repair 
to Arran, and there to have our fill of hunting until such 
time as from the tree-tops the cuckoo would call in 
Ireland. More melodious than all birds whatsoever, it 
was to give ear to the voices of the birds as they 
rose from the billows, and from the island's coast line ; 
thrice fifty separate flocks there are that encircled her, 
and they clad in all brilliance of all colours ; as blue, and 
green, and azure, and yellow." 



xl LYRA CELTICA 

from Hector MacLean's "Ultonian Hero Ballads"; or 
the fantastic beauty of "The March of the Faerie 
Host," as rendered by Prof. Kuno Meyer after the 
original in "The Book of Lismore"; or the lovely portrait 
of a beautiful woman, by a Highland poet of old, the 
"Aisling air Dhreach Mna ; or, Vision of a Fair 
Woman." Possibly, too, even Celtic scholars may 
not be displeased to read here English metrical para- 
phrases, such as Sir Samuel Ferguson's "Lament of 
Deirdre for the Sons of Usnach," * or Mr T. W. 
Rolleston's haunting "The Lament of Queen Maev"; 
or, again, in dubiously authentic fragments such as 
" Fingal and Ros-crana," to have an opportunity to trace 
the "inner self" of many a familiar ballad or legend. 

The Breton section, also, is represented equally slightly, 
though perhaps not inadequately, all things considered. 
"The Dance of the Sword" is, probably, fundamentally 
one of the most ancient of Celtic bardic utterances. In the 
modern selection, it will be a surprise to many readers 
to encounter names so familiar to lovers of French 
poetry as Leconte de Lisle and Villiers de 1* Isle- Adam. 
There are many contemporary Breton poets of distinc- 
tion, but it was feasible to select no more than one or 
two. Auguste Brizeux and Charles Le Goffic may be 
taken as typical exemplars of the historically re-creative 
and the individually impressionistic methods. Unfortun- 
ately neither is represented here. It was desirable to 
select at least one poet who still uses the old Armorican 
tongue ; but in my translation from Leo-Kermorvan's 
"Taliesen" (as again in that of Tiercelin's "By 
Menec'hi Shore "), I have not attempted a rhymed 
version, as in the original, or in the French version 



* Readers should obtain Dr Hyde's "Three Sorrows 
of Story-Telling" (i/-), wherein the beautiful old tale 
of Deirdre is re-told by one who is at once a poet and 
a scholar. 



INTRODUCTION xli 

published in the " Anthologie." There are very few 
translators who can be faithful both to the sound and 
sense, in the attempt concurrently to reproduce identity 
of form, music, and substance ; and, as a rule, therefore, 
rhythmic prose, or an unrhymed metrical version, is 
likely to prove more interesting as well as more truly 
interpretative. 

Out of the rich garth of ancient and mediaeval Welsh 
poetry, the Editor has culled only a few blossoms. 
They contain, at least, something of that lyric love of 
Nature which is so distinctively Celtic, and is the chief 
charm of the poetic literature of Wales. It is earnestly 
to be hoped that some poet-scholar will give us before 
long, in English, an anthology of the best contemporary 
Welsh poetry. 

Of living poets who write in Gaelic, there are more 
in Scotland than in Ireland. The Hebrides have been 
a nest of singers, since Mary Macleod down to the 
youngest of the Uist poets of to-day ; and though there 
is not at present any Alexander Macdonald or Duncan 
Ban Macintyre, there are many singers who have a 
sweet and fine note, and many writers whose poems 
have beauty, grace, and distinction. Perhaps the last 
fine product of the pseudo-antique school is the "Sean 
Dana " * of Dr John Smith, late in the last century ; but 
occasionally there occurs in our own day a noteworthy 
instance of the re-telling of the old tales in the old way. 
In "The Celtic Monthly," and other periodicals, much 
good Gaelic verse is to be found, and it is no exagger- 
ation to say that at this moment there are more than a 
hundred Gaelic singers in Western Scotland whose poetry 
is as fresh and winsome, and, in point of form as well 
as substance, as beautiful, as any that is being produced 
throughout the rest of the realm. The Gaelic Muse has 



* Whence comes the "Prologue to Gaul," given at 
p. 187 of this book. 



xlii LYRA CELTICA 

also found a home in Canada, and it is interesting to 
note that one of the longest of recent Gaelic poems was 
written by a Highlander in far-away Burmah. 

" The Highlander " (and in this and the following pas- 
sage I quote the words of Professor Mackinnon, from his 
Inaugural Address on his succession to the Celtic Chair 
at Edinburgh University) "The Highlander may be truly 
described as the child of music and song. For many a 
long year his language is the language, for the most part, 
of the uneducated classes. And yet, amid surroundings 
which too often are but mean and wretched, without 
the advantages of education beyond what his native glen 
supplied, he has contrived to enliven his lot by the 
cultivation of such literature as the local bards, the 
traditions of the clan, and the popular tales of the 
district supplied. He has attempted, not unsuccessfully, 
to live not for the day and hour alone, but, in a true 
sense, to live the life of the spirit! He has produced 
a mass of lyric poetry which, in rhythmical flow, purity 
of sentiment, and beauty of expression, can compare 
favourably with the literature of more powerful and more 
highly-civilised communities. 

"In the highest efforts of Gaelic literature, in the 
prose of Norman Macleod, in the masterpieces of the 
lyric poets, in the "Sean Dana" of Dr Smith, and above 
all, in the poems of Ossian, whether composed by 
James Macpherson or the son of Fingal, the intellect 
of the Scottish Celt, in its various moods and qualities, 
finds its deepest and fullest expression. Here we have 
humour, pathos, passion, vehemence, a rush of feeling 
and emotion not always under restraint, and apt to run 
into exaggeration and hyperbole characteristics which 
enter largely into the mental and spiritual organisation 
of the people. But above and beneath all these, there 
is a touch of melancholy, a 'cry of the weary,' pervading 
the spirit of the Celt. Ossian gives expression to this 
sentiment in the touching line which Matthew Arnold, 



INTRODUCTION xliii 

the most sympathetic and penetrating critic of the Celtic 
imagination, with the true instinct of genius, prefixes 
to his charming volume, ' On the Study of Celtic 
Literature ' : 

'"They went forth to the war, but they always fell.'" 

Professor Mackinnon goes on to adduce a familiar 
legend, which may again be quoted, for we are all now 
waiting for that longed-for blast which shall arouse the 
spell -bound trance wherein sleeps "Anima Celtica." 
The Feinn, he says, were laid spell -bound in a cave 
which no man knew of. At the mouth of the cave hung 
a horn, which if ever any man should come and blow 
three times, the spell would be broken, and the F6inn 
would arise, alive and well. A hunter, one day wander- 
ing in the mist, came on this cave, saw the horn, and 
knew what it meant. He looked in and saw the 
Fe'inn lying asleep all round the cave. He lifted the 
horn and blew one blast. He looked in again, and saw 
that the Feinn had wakened, but lay still with their 
eyes staring, like those of dead men. He took the horn 
again, blew another blast, and instantly the Feinn all 
moved, each resting on his elbow. Terrified at their 
aspect, the hunter turned and fled homewards. He told 
what he had seen, and, accompanied by friends, went 
to search for the cave. They could not find it ; it has 
never again been found ; and so there still sit, each rest- 
ing on his elbow, waiting for the final blast to rouse them 
into life, the spell-bound heroes of the old Celtic world. 

Of the modern and larger section of " Lyra Celtica " 
I need say little here. To avoid confusion, the Editor 
has refrained from representing poets whose " Celtic 
strain " is more or less obviously disputable ; hence the 
wise ignoring of the claims even of Scott and Burns. 
Byron was more Celtic in blood than in brain, and is 
represented really by virtue of this accidental kinship. 

Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Man, Cornwall, and Brit- 



xliv LYRA CELTICA 

tany are all more or less adequately represented ; and 
among the poets are some whose voices will be new to 
most readers. One or two writers, also, have been 
drawn upon as representatives of the distinctively Anglo- 
Celtic section of England. Finally, "greater Gaeldom " 
the realm of the Irish and Scottish Gaels in the United 
States, Canada, and Australasia is also represented ; 
and one, at any rate, of these outlanders is a poet who 
has won distinction on both sides of the Atlantic. 

If it be advisable to select one poet, still "with a 
future," as pre-eminently representative of the Celtic 
genius of to-day, I think there can be little doubt that 
W. B. Yeats' name is that which would occur first to 
most lovers of contemporary poetry. He has grace of 
touch and distinction of form beyond any of the younger 
poets of Great Britain, and there is throughout his work 
a haunting beauty, and a haunting sense of beauty 
everywhere perceived with joy and longing, that make 
its appeal irresistible for those who feel it at all. He is 
equally happy whether he deals with antique or with 
contemporary themes, and in almost every poem he has 
written there is that exquisite remoteness, that dream- 
like music, and that transporting charm which Matthew 
Arnold held to be one of the primary tests of poetry, 
and, in particular, of Celtic poetry. 

As an example of Mr Yeats' narrative method, with 
legendary themes, I may quote this from his beautiful 
" Wanderings of Oisln " (rather affectedly and quite 
needlessly altered to U she en in the latest version) 
" Fled foam underneath us, and round us a wandering 

and milky smoke, 
High as the saddle-girth, covering away from our 

glances the tide ; 

And those that fled, and that followed, from the foam- 
pale distance broke ; 

The immortal desire of immortals we saw in their 
faces, and sighed. 



INTRODUCTION xlv 

I mused on the chase with the Fenians, and Bran, 
Sgeolan, Lomair, 

And never a song sang Neave, and over my finger- 
tips 

Came now the sliding of tears and sweeping of mist- 
cold hair, 

And now the warmth of sighs, and after the quiver of 
lips. 

Were we days long or hours long in riding, when 

rolled in a grisly peace, 
An isle lay level before us, with dripping hazel and 

oak? 
And we stood on a sea's edge we saw not; for 

whiter than new washed fleece 
Fled foam underneath us, and round us a wandering 

and milky smoke. 

And we rode on the plains of the sea's edge the sea's 

edge barren and gray, 
Gray sands on the green of the grasses and over the 

dripping trees, 
Dripping and doubling landward, as though they 

would hasten away 
Like an army of old men longing for rest from the 

moan of the seas. 

But the trees grew taller and closer, immense in their 

wrinkling bark ; 
Dropping a murmurous dropping old silence and that 

one sound; 
For no live creatures lived there, no weasels moved 

in the dark 
Long sighs arose in our spirits, beneath us bubbled 

the ground. 

And the ears of the horse went sinking away in the 

hollow night, 
For, as drift from a sailor slow drowning the gleams 

of the world and the sun, 



xlvi LYRA CELTICA 

Ceased on our hands and our faces, on hazel and oak 

leaf, the light, 
And the stars were blotted above us, and the whole 

of the world was one." 

Often, too, there occur in his verse new and striking 
imagery, as in the superb epithetical value of the fourth 
line in the concluding stanza of "The Madness of King 
Goll," one of the most beautiful of his poems 

"And now I wander in the woods 

When summer gluts the golden bees, 
Or in autumnal solitudes 

Arise the leopard-coloured trees ; 
Or when along the wintry strands 

The cormorants shiver on their rocks ; 
I wander on, and wave my hands, 

And sing, and shake my heavy locks. 
The gray wolf knows me ; by one ear 
I lead along the woodland deer ; 
The hares ran by me growing bold. 
They will not hush, the leaves a-flutter 
round me, the beech leaves old." 

Indeed, through all his work, "They will not hush ; the 
leaves a-flutter, the beech leaves old" the mystic leaves 
of life, touched by the wind of old romance. We can 
imagine him hearing often that fairy lure which his 
"Stolen Child" listed and yielded to 

" Come away, O human child ! 
To the waters and the wild 
With a fairy, hand in hand, 
For the world 's more full of weeping than 
you can understand." 

For him always there is the Beauty of Beauty, the 
Passion of Passion: the "Rose of the World." 



INTRODUCTION xlvii 

"Who dreamed that beauty passes like a dream? 
For these red lips, with all their mournful pride, 
Mournful that no new wonder may betide, 
Troy passed away in one high funeral gleam, 
And Usna's children died. 

We and the labouring world are passing by : 
Amid men's souls, that waver and give place, 
Like the pale waters in their wintry race, 

Under the passing stars, foam of the sky, 
Lives on this lonely face." 

It is the lonely face that haunts the dreams of poets of 
all races and ages: that "Lady Beauty" enthroned 

" Under the arch of life, where love and death, 
Terror and mystery, guard her shrine. ..." 

The vision of which we follow 

" How passionately, and irretrievably, 
In what fond flight, how many ways and days I " 

And of all races, none has so worshipped the " Rose of 
the World" as has the Celt. 

"No other human tribe," says Renan, "has carried 
so much mystery into love. No other has conceived 
with more delicacy the ideal of woman, nor been more 
dominated by her. It is a kind of intoxication, a mad- 
ness, a giddiness. Read the strange mabinogi of 
' Peredur,' or its French imitation, 'Parceval le Gallois'; 
these pages are dewy, so to say, with feminine 
sentiment. Woman appears there as a sort of 
vague vision intermediate between man and the super- 
natural world. There is no other literature which offers 
anything analagous to this. Compare Guinevere and 
Iseult to those Scandinavian furies Gudruna and 
Chrimhilde, and you will acknowledge that woman, 
as chivalry conceived her that ideal of sweetness and 



xlviii LYRA CELTICA 

beauty set up as the supreme object of life is a creation 
neither classic, Christian, nor Germanic, but in reality 
Celtic." 

And having quoted from Ernest Renan, himself one 
of the greatest of modern Celts, and a Celt in brain 
and genius as well as by blood, race, and birth, let me 
interpolate here a paraphrase of some words of his in 
that essay on "La Poesie de la Race Celtique," which 
was to intellectual France what Matthew Arnold's 
essay was to intellectual England. 

If, he says, the eminence of races should be estimated 
according to the purity of their blood and inviolability of 
national character, there could be none able to dispute 
supremacy with the Celtic race. Never has human 
family lived more isolated from the world, nor less 
affected by foreign admixture. 

Restricted by conquest to forgotten isles and penin- 
sulas, the Celtic race has habitually striven to oppose 
an impassable barrier to all alien influences. It has 
ever trusted in itself, and in itself alone, and has 
drawn its mental and spiritual nurture from its own 
resources. 

Hence that powerful individuality, that hatred of the 
stranger, which up to our day has formed the essential 
characteristic of the Celtic peoples. The civilisation of 
Rome hardly reached them, and left among them but 
few traces. The Germanic invasion flowed back on 
them, but it did not affect them at all. At the present 
hour they still resist an invasion, dangerous in quite 
another way, that of modern civilisation, so destructive 
of local varieties and national types. Ireland in par- 
ticular (and there, perhaps, is the secret of her 
irremediable weakness) is the sole country of Europe 
where the native can produce authentic documents of 
his remote unbroken lineage, and designate with cer- 
tainty, up to pre-historic ages, the race from which he 
sprang. 



INTRODUCTION xlix 

One does not enough reflect on how strange it 
is that an ancient race should continue down to 
our day, and almost under our eyes, in some islands 
and peninsulas of the West, its own life, more 
and more diverted from it, it is true, by the noise 
from without, but still faithful to its language, its 
memories, its ideals, and its genius. We are especially 
apt to forget that this small race, contracted now to 
the extreme confines of Europe, in the midst of those 
rocks and mountains where its enemies have driven it, 
is in possession of a literature, which in the Middle 
Ages exerted an immense influence, changed the current 
of European imagination, and imposed upon almost the 
whole of Christianity its poetical motifs. It is, however, 
only necessary to open authentic monuments of Celtic 
genius to convince oneself that the race which created 
these has had its own original method of thought and 
feeling ; and that nowhere does the eternal illusion dress 
itself in more seductive colours. In the grand concert of 
the human species, no family equals this, for penetrating 
voices which go to the heart. Alas ! if it, also, is con- 
demned to disappear, this fading glory of the West ! 
Arthur will not return to his enchanted isle, and Saint 
Patrick was right in saying to Ossian : " The heroes 
whom you mourn are dead ; can they live again ? " 

A strange melancholy characterises the genius of the 
Celtic race. For all the blithe songs and happy 
abandon of so many Irish singers, the Irish themselves 
have given us the most poignant, the most hauntingly- 
sad lyric cries in all modern literature. Renan fully 
recognises this, and how, even in the heroic age, the 
melancholy of inappeasible regret, of insatiable longing, 
is as obvious as in our own day, when spiritual weari- 
ness is as an added crown of thorns. Whence comes this 
sadness, he asks ? Take the songs of the sixth century 
bards ; they mourn more defeats than they sing victories. 
The history of the Celtic race itself is but a long com- 
d 



1 LYRA CELTICA 

plaint, the lament of exiles, the grief of despairing flights 
beyond the seas. If occasionally it seems to make merry, 
a tear ever lurks behind the smile; it rarely knows 
that singular forgetfulness of the human state and of its 
destinies which is called gaiety. But, if its songs of 
joy end in elegies, nothing equals the delicious sadness 
of these national melodies. 

Nevertheless, concludes the most famous of modern 
Breton writers, we are still far from believing that the 
Celtic race has said its last word. After having exer- 
cised all the godly and worldly chivalries, sought with 
Peredur the Holy Graal and the Beautiful, dreamed 
with Saint Brandan of mystical Atlantides, who knows 
what the Celtic genius would produce in the domain of 
the intelligence if it should embolden itself to make its 
entrance into the world, and if it subjected its rich and 
profound nature to the conditions of modern thought ? 
Few races have had a poetical infancy as complete as 
the Celtic mythology, lyricism, epic, romanesque imagin- 
ation, religious enthusiasm, nothing have they lacked. 
Why should philosophic thought be lacking? Germany, 
which had begun by science and criticism, has finished 
with poetry; why should not the Celtic races, which 
began with poetry, not end with a new and vivid 
criticism of actual life as it now is? It is not so far 
from the one to the other as we are apt to suppose ; the 
poetical races are the philosophical races, and philosophy is 
at bottom but a manner of poetry like any other. When 
one thinks that Germany fronted, less than a century ago, 
the revelation of its genius ; that everywhere national 
idiosyncrasies, which seemed effaced, have suddenly 
risen again in our day more alive than ever, one is 
persuaded that it is rash to set a law for the discon- 
tinuances and awakenings of races. Modern civilisation, 
which seemed made to absorb them, may, perhaps, be 
but the forcing-house for a new and more superb efflor- 
escence. 



INTRODUCTION li 

No, it is no "disastrous end": whether the Celtic 
peoples be slowly perishing or are spreading innumer- 
able fibres of life towards a richer and fuller, if a less 
national and distinctive existence. From Renan, the 
high priest of the Breton faith, to the latest of his 
kindred of the Gael, there is a strange new uprising of 
hope. It is realised that the Dream is nigh dreamed : 
and then . . . 

" Till the soil bid cities rise 
Be strong, O Celt be rich, be wise 
But still, with those divine grave eyes, 
Respect the realm of Mysteries." 

Let me conclude, then, in the words of the most recent 
of those many eager young Celtic writers whose songs 
and romances are charming the now intent mind of the 
Anglo-Saxon. "A doomed and passing race. Yes, but 
not wholly so. The Celt has at last reached his horizon. 
There is no shore beyond. He knows it. This has 
been the burden of his song since Malvina led the blind 
Oisin to his grave by the sea. ' Even the Children of 
Light must go down into darkness.' But this apparition 
of a passing race is no more than the fulfilment of a 
glorious resurrection before our very eyes. For the 
genius of the Celtic race stands out now with averted 
torch, and the light of it is a glory before the eyes, and 
the flame of it is blown into the hearts of the mightier 
conquering people. The Celt falls, but his spirit rises in 
the heart and the brain of the Anglo-Celtic peoples, with 
whom are the destinies of the generations to come." 

WILLIAM SHARP. 



Read these faint runes of Mystery, 
O Celt, at home and o'er the sea; 
The bond is loosed the poor are free 
The -world's great future rests with thee ! 

Till the soil bid cities rise 
Be strong, O Celt be rich, be wise 
But still, with those divine grave eyes, 
Respect the realm of Mysteries. 

The Book of Orm. 



ANCIENT IRISH 
AND SCOTTISH 



ANCIENT ERSE 3 

The Mystery of Amergin. 

am the wind which breathes upon the sea, 

am the wave of the ocean, 

am the murmur of the billows, 

am the ox of the seven combats, 

am the vulture upon the rocks, 

am a beam of the sun, 

am the fairest of plants, 

am a wild boar in valour, 

am a salmon in the water, 

am a lake in the plain, 

am a word of science, 

am the point of the lance of battle, 

am the God who creates in the head [i.e. of 

man] the fire [i. e. the thought]. 
Who is it who throws light into the meeting on the 

mountain? 

Who announces the ages of the moon [If not I]? 
Who teaches the place where couches the sun [If not I]? 



4 LYRA CELTICA 

The Song of Fionn. 

May-day, delightful time! How beautiful the colour! 
The blackbirds sing their full lay. Would that Laeg 

were here! 
The cuckoos sing in constant strains. How welcome is 

the noble 
Brilliance of the seasons ever! On the margin of the 

branching woods 
The summer swallows skim the stream : the swift 

horses seek the pool : 
The heather spreads out her long hair : the weak fair 

bog-down grows. 
Sudden consternation attacks the signs; the planets, in 

their courses running, exert an influence : 
The sea is lulled to rest, flowers cover the earth. 



ANCIENT ERSE 5 

Credhe's Lament. 

The haven roars, and O the haven roars, over the 
rushing race of Rinn-da-bharc! the drowning of the 
warrior of loch da chonn, that is what the wave im- 
pinging on the strand laments. Melodious is the crane, 
and O melodious is the crane, in the marshlands of 
Druim-da-thrn! 'tis she that may not save her brood 
alive : the wild dog of two colours is intent upon her 
nestlings. A woeful note, and O a woeful note is that 
which the thrush in Drumqueen emits! but not more 
cheerful is the wail that the blackbird makes in Letterlee. 
A woeful sound, and O a woeful sound, is that the deer 
utters in Drumdaleish! dead lies the doe of Druim 
Silenn: the mighty stag bells after her. Sore suffering 
to me, and O suffering sore, is the hero's death his 
death, that used to lie with me ! ... Sore suffering to me is 
Gael, and O Gael is a suffering sore, that by my side he 
is in dead man's form ! That the wave should have swept 
over his white body that is what hath distracted me, 
so great was his delightfulness. A dismal roar, and O 
a dismal roar, is that the shore-surf makes upon the 
strand! seeing that the same hath drowned the comely 
noble man, to me it is an affliction that Gael ever sought 
to encounter it. A woeful booming, and O a boom of 
woe, is that which the wave makes upon the northward 
beach! beating as it does against the polished rock, 
lamenting for Gael, now that he is gone. A woeful fight, 
and O a fight of woe, is that the wave wages against 
the southern shore ! As for me my span is determined I ... 
A woeful melody, and O a melody of woe, is that 
which the heavy surge of Tullachleish emits ! As for me : 
the calamity that is fallen upon me having shattered 
me, for me prosperity exists no more. Since now 
Crimthann's son is drowned, one that I may love after 
him there is not in being. Many a chief is fallen by his 
hand, and in the battle his shield never uttered outcry! 



6 LYRA CELTICA 

Cuchullin in his Chariot. 

"What is the cause of thy journey or thy story?" 

The cause of my journey and my story 
The men of Erin, yonder, as we see them, 
Coming towards you on the plain. 

The chariot on which is the fold, figured and cerulean, 
Which is made strongly, handy, solid ; 
Where were active, and where were vigorous ; 
And where were full-wise, the noble hearted folk; 
In the prolific, faithful city ; 
Fine, hard, stone-bedecked, well-shafted ; 
Four large-chested horses in that splendid chariot ; 
Comely, frolicsome. 

"What do we see in that chariot?" 

The white-bellied, white-haired, small-eared, 
Thin-sided, thin-hoofed, horse-large, steed-large horses; 
With fine, shining, polished bridles ; 
Like a gem ; or like red sparkling fire ; 
Like the motion of a fawn, wounded ; 
Like the rustling of a loud wind in winter ; 
Coming to you in that chariot. 

"What do we see in that chariot?" 

We see in that chariot, 

The strong, broad-chested, nimble, gray horses, 
So mighty, so broad-chested, so fleet, so choice ; 
Which would wrench the sea skerries from the rocks. 
The lively, shielded, powerful horses; 
So mettlesome, so active, so clear-shining ; 
Like the talon of an eagle 'gainst a fierce beast ; 
Which are called the beautiful Large-Gray 
The fond, large Meactroigh. 



ANCIENT ERSE 

"What do we see in that chariot?" 

We see in that chariot, 
The horses ; which are white-headed, white-hoofed, 

slender-legged, 

Fine-haired, sturdy, imperious; 
Satin-bannered, wide-chested ; 
Small-aged, small-haired, small-eared ; 
Large-hearted, large-shaped, large-nostriled ; 
Slender- waisted, long-bodied, and they are foal-like ; 
Handsome, playful, brilliant, wild-leaping; 
Which are called the Dubh-Seimhlinn. 

"Who sits in that chariot?" 

He who sits in that chariot, 
Is the warrior, able, powerful, well-worded, 
Polished, brilliant, very graceful. 
There are seven sights on his eye; 
And we think that that is good vision to him ; 
There are six bony, fat fingers, 
On each hand that comes from his shoulder; 
There are seven kinds of fair hair on his head ; 
Brown hair next his head's skin, 
And smooth red hair over that; 
And fair-yellow hair, of the colour of gold ; 
And clasps on the top, holding it fast ; 
Whose name is Cuchullin, Seimh-suailte, 
Son of Aodh, son of Agh, son of other Aodh. 
His face is like red sparkles ; 
Fast-moving on the plain like mountain fleet-mist ; 
Or like the speed of a hill hind ; 
Or like a hare on rented level ground. 
It was a frequent step a fast step a joyful step ; 
The horses coming towards us : 
Like snow hewing the slopes ; 
The panting and the snorting, 
Of the horses coming towards thee. 



LYRA CELTICA 

Deirdre's Lament for the Sons 
of Usnach. 

The lions of the hill are gone, 
And I am left alone alone 
Dig the grave both wide and deep, 
For I am sick, and fain would sleep ! 

The falcons of the wood are flown, 
And I am left alone alone 
Dig the grave both deep and wide, 
And let us slumber side by side. 

The dragons of the rock are sleeping, 
Sleep that wakes not for our weeping 
Dig the grave, and make it ready, 
Lay me on my true-love's body. 

Lay their spears and bucklers bright 
By the warriors' sides aright; 
Many a day the three before me 
On their linked bucklers bore me. 

Lay upon the low grave floor, 
'Neath each head, the blue claymore ; 
Many a time the noble three 
Reddened their blue blades for me. 

Lay the collars, as is meet, 
Of the greyhounds at their feet ; 
Many a time for me have they 
Brought the tall red deer to bay. 

In the falcon's jesses throw, 
Hook and arrow, line and bow ; 
Never again, by stream or plain, 
Shall the gentle woodsmen go. 

Sweet companions, were ye ever 
Harsh to me, your sister, never ; 



ANCIENT ERSE 

Woods and wilds, and misty valleys, 
Were with you as good's a palace. 

O, to hear my true-love singing, 
Sweet as sounds of trumpets ringing ; 
Like the sway of ocean swelling 
Rolled his deep voice round our dwelling. 

O ! to hear the echoes pealing 
Round our green and fairy shealing, 
When the three, with soaring chorus, 
Passed the silent skylark o'er us. 

Echo now, sleep, morn and even- 
Lark alone enchant the heaven ! 
Ardan's lips are scant of breath, 
Neesa's tongue is cold in death. 

Stag, exult on glen and mountain 
Salmon, leap from loch to fountain- 
Heron, in the free air warm ye 
Usnach's sons no more will harm ye ! 

Erin's stay no more you are, 
Rulers of the ridge of war ; 
Never more 'twill be your fate 
To keep the beam of battle straight ! 

Woe is me ! by fraud and wrong, 
Traitors false and tyrants strong, 
Fell Clan Usnach, bought and sold, 
For Barach's feast and Conor's gold ! 

Woe to Eman, roof and wall ! 
Woe to Red Branch, hearth and hall! 
Tenfold woe and black dishonour 
To the foul and false Clan Conor ! 

Dig the grave both wide and deep, 
Sick I am, and fain would sleep 1 
Dig the grave and make it ready, 
Lay me on my true-love's body. 



io LYRA CELTICA 

The Lament of Queen Maev. 

Raise the Cromlech high ! 

Mac Moghcorb is slain, 
And other men's renown 

Has leave to live again. 

Cold at last he lies 
'Neath the burial stone. 

All the blood he shed 
Could not save his own. 

Stately, strong he went, 
Through his nobles all, 

When we paced together 
Up the banquet-hall. 

Dazzling white as lime, 

Was his body fair, 
Cherry-red his cheeks, 

Raven-black his hair. 

Razor-sharp his spear, 
And the shield he bore, 

High as champion's head 
His arm was like an oar. 

Never aught but truth 
Spake my noble king ; 

Valour all his trust 
In all his warfaring. 

As the forked pole 
Holds the roof-tree's weight, 

So my hero's arm 
Held the battle straight. 

Terror went before him, 
Death behind his back, 

Well the wolves of Erinn 
Knew his chariot's track. 



ANCIENT ERSE n 

Seven bloody battles 

He broke upon his foes, 
In each a hundred heroes 

Fell beneath his blows. 

Once he fought at Fossud, 

Thrice at Ath-finn-fail. 
'Twas my king that conquered 

At bloody Ath-an-Scail. 

At the Boundary Stream 

Fought the Royal Hound, 
And for Bernas battle 

Stands his name renowned. 

Here he fought with Leinster 

Last of all his frays 
On the Hill of Cucorb's Fate 

High his Cromlech raise. 



12 LYRA CELTICA 

The March of the Faerie Host. 

In well-devised battle array, 
Ahead of their fair chieftain 
They march amidst blue spears, 
White curly-headed bands. 

They scatter the battalions of the foe, 
They ravage every land I have attacked, 
Splendidly they march to combat 
An impetuous, distinguished, avenging host ! 

No wonder though their strength be great : 
Sons of kings and queens are one and all. 
On all their heads are 
Beautiful golden-yellow manes : 

With smooth, comely bodies, 
With bright blue-starred eyes, 
With pure crystal teeth, 
With thin red lips : 

Good they are at man-slaying. 



ANCIENT ERSE 13 

Vision of a Fair Woman. 

(Aisling air Dhreach Mna.) 

Tell us some of the charms of the stars : 
Close and well set were her ivory teeth ; 
White as the canna upon the moor 
Was her bosom the tartan bright beneath. 

Her well-rounded forehead shone 
Soft and fair as the mountain-snow ; 
Her two breasts were heaving full ; 
To them did the hearts of heroes flow. 

Her lips were ruddier than the rose ; 
Tender and tunefully sweet her tongue; 
White as the foam adown her side 
Her delicate fingers extended hung. 

Smooth as the dusky down of the elk 
Appeared her shady eyebrows to me ; 
Lovely her cheeks were, like berries red ; 
From every guile she was wholly free. 

Her countenance looked like the gentle buds 
Unfolding their beauty in early spring; 
Her yellow locks like the gold-browed hills; 
And her eyes like the radiance the sunbeams 
bring. 



14 LYRA CELTICA 

The Fian Banners. 

The Norland King stood on the height 

And scanned the rolling sea; 
He proudly eyed his gallant ships 

That rode triumphantly. 

And then he looked where lay his camp, 

Along the rocky coast, 
And where were seen the heroes brave 

Of Lochlin's famous host. 

Then to the land he turn'd, and there 

A fierce-like hero came ; 
Above him was a flag of gold, 

That waved and shone like flame. 

" Sweet bard," thus spoke the Norland King, 
" What banner comes in sight? 
The valiant chief that leads the host, 
Who is that man of might?" 

" That," said the bard, "is young MacDoon 

His is that banner bright ; 
When forth the F6inn to battle go, 
He 's foremost in the fight." 

" Sweet bard, another comes ; I see 

A blood-red banner toss'd 
Above a mighty hero's head 
Who waves it o'er a host?" 

"That banner," quoth the bard, "belongs 

To good and valiant Rayne ; 
Beneath it feet are bathed in blood 
And heads are cleft in twain." 

" Sweet bard, what banner now I see 
A leader fierce and strong 



ANCIENT ERSE 15 

Behind it moves with heroes brave 
Who furious round him throng?" 

" That is the banner of Great Gaul : 

That silken shred of gold, 
Is first to march and last to turn, 
And flight ne'er stained its fold." 

" Sweet bard, another now I see, 

High o'er a host it glows, 
Tell whether it has ever shone 
O'er fields of slaughtered foes ? " 

" That gory flag is Cailt's," quoth he, 
" It proudly peers in sight ; 
It won its fame on many a field 
In fierce and bloody fight." 

" Sweet bard, another still I see ; 

A host it flutters o'er ; 
Like bird above the roaring surge 
That laves the storm-swept shore.' 

"The Broom of Peril," quoth the bard, 
"Young Oscur's banner, see: 
Amidst the conflict of dread chiefs 
The proudest name has he." 

The banner of great Fionn we raised ; 

The Sunbeam gleaming far, 
With golden spangles of renown 

From many a field of war. 

The flag was fastened to its staff 

With nine strong chains of gold, 
With nine times nine chiefs for each chain ; 

Before it foes oft rolled. 



16 



Redeem your pledge to me," said Fionn ; 
"And show your deeds of might 
To Lochlin as you did before 
In many a gory fight." 

Like torrents from the mountain heights 

That roll resistless on ; 
So down upon the foe we rushed, 

And victory won. 



OLD GAELIC 17 

The Rune of St Patrick. 

"The Faedh Fiada"; or, "The Cry of the 
Deer." 

At Tara to-day in this fateful hour 

I place all Heaven with its power, 

And the sun with its brightness, 

And the snow with its whiteness, 

And fire with all the strength it hath, 

And lightning with its rapid wrath, 

And the winds with their swiftness along their path, 

And the sea with its deepness, 

And the rocks with their steepness, 

And the earth with its starkness : 

All these I place, 

By God's almighty help and grace, 
Between myself and the powers of darkness. 



18 LYRA CELTICA 

Columcille cecenit. 

O, Son of my God, what a pride, what a pleasure 

To plough the blue sea ! 
The waves of the fountain of deluge to measure 

Dear Eire to thee. 

We are rounding Moy-n-Olurg, we sweep by its head, and 

We plunge through Loch Foyle, 
Whose swans could enchant with their music the dead, and 

Make pleasure of toil. 

The host of the gulls come with joyous commotion 

And screaming and sport, 
I welcome my own "Dewy- Red" from the ocean 

Arriving in port.* 

O Eire", were wealth my desire, what a wealth were 

To gain far from thee, 
In the land of the stranger, but there even health were 

A sickness to me 1 

Alas for the voyage O high King of Heaven 

Enjoined upon me, 
For that I on the red plain of bloody Cooldrevin 

Was present to see. 

How happy the son is of Dima ; no sorrow 

For him is designed, 
He is having, this hour, round his own hill in Durrow 

The wish of his mind. 

The sounds of the winds in the elms, like the strings of 

A harp being played, 
The note of the blackbird that claps with the wings of 

Delight in the glade. 



* Dearg-druchtach i.e. " Dewy -Red "was the 
name of St Columba's boat. 



OLD GAELIC 19 

With him in Ros-Grencha the cattle are lowing 

At earliest dawn, 
On the brink of the summer the pigeons are cooing 

And doves in the lawn. 

Three things am I leaving behind me, the very 

Most dear that I know, 
Tir-Leedach I 'm leaving, and Durrow and Deny, 

Alas, I must go 1 

Yet my visit and feasting with Comgall have eased me 

At Cainneach's right hand, 
And all but thy government, Eir6, has pleased me, 

Thou waterfall land. 



20 LYRA CELTICA 

Columcille fecit. 

Delightful would it be to me to be in Uchd Ailiun 

On the pinnacle of a rock, 
That I might often see 

The face of the ocean ; 
That I might see its heaving waves 

Over the wide ocean, 
When they chant music to their Father 

Upon the world's course; 
That I might see its level sparkling strand, 

It would be no cause of sorrow; 
That I might hear the song of the wonderful birds, 

Source of happiness; 
That I might hear the thunder of the crowding waves 

Upon the rocks ; 
That I might hear the roar by the side of the church 

Of the surrounding sea; 
That I might see its noble flocks 

Over the watery ocean; 
That I might see the sea-monsters, 

The greatest of all wonders; 
That I might see its ebb and flood 

In their career ; 
That my mystical name might be, I say, 

Cul ri Erin;* 
That contrition might come upon my heart 

Upon looking at her; 
That I might bewail my evils all, 

Though it were difficult to compute them; 
That I might bless the Lord 

Who conserves all, 
Heaven with its countless bright orders, 

Land, strand and flood; 



That is, " Back turned to Ireland." 



SAINT COLUMBA 21 

That I might search the books all, 

That would be good for my soul; 
At times kneeling to beloved Heaven; 

At times psalm singing; 
At times contemplating the King of Heaven, 

Holy the chief; 
At times at work without compulsion, 

This would be delightful. 
At times plucking duilisc from the rocks ; 

At times at fishing; 
At times giving food to the poor ; 

At times in a carcair :* 
The best advice in the presence of God 

To me has been vouchsafed. 
The King whose servant I am will not let 

Anything deceive me. 

Solitary cell. 



22 LYRA CELTICA 

The Song of Murdoch the Monk. 

Murdoch, whet thy knife, that we may shave our 

crowns to the Great King. 
Let us sweetly give our vow, and the hair of both our 

heads to the Trinity. 
I will shave mine to Mary; this is the doing of a true 

heart: 
To Mary shave them these locks, well -formed, soft-eyed 

man. 
Seldom hast thou had, handsome man, a knife on thy 

hair to shave it; 
Oftener has a sweet, soft queen comb'd her hair beside 

thee. 
Whenever it was that we did bathe, with Brian of the 

well-curled locks, 
And once on a time that I did bathe at the well of the 

fair-haired Boroimhe, 
I strove in swimming with Ua Chais, on the cold 

waters of the Fergus. 
When he came ashore from the stream, Ua Chais and 

I strove in a race : 
These two knives, one to each, were given us by 

Duncan Cairbreach; 

No knives were better: shave gently then, Murdoch. 
Whet your sword, Cathal, which wins the fertile Banva ; 
Ne'er was thy wrath heard without fighting, brave, red- 
handed Cathal. 
Preserve our shaved heads from cold and from heat, 

gentle daughter of lodehim, 
Preserve us in the land of heat, softest branch of Mary. 



DOMHNULL MAC FHIONNLAIDH 23 

The Aged Bard's Wish. 
( Miann a' Bhaird Aosda.) 

O, lay me by the gentle stream 
Which glides with stealing course; 
Lay my head beneath the shady boughs, 
And thou, O sun, be mild upon my rest. 

There, in the flowery grass, 
Where the breeze sighs softly on the bank, 
My feet shall be bathed with the dew 
When it falls on the silent vale. 

There, on my lone green heap, 

The primrose and the daisy shall bloom over my head, 

And the wild bright star of St John 

Shall bend beside my cheek. 

Above, on the steeps of the glen, 
Green flowering boughs shall spread, 
And sweet, from the still grey craigs, 
The birds shall pour their songs. 

There, from the ivied craig, 
The gushing spring shall flow, 
And the son of the rock shall repeat 
The murmur of its fall. 

The hinds shall call around my bed; 
The hill shall answer to their voice, 
When a thousand shall descend on the field, 
And feed around my rest 

The calves shall sport beside me 
By the stream of the level plain, 
And the little kids, weary of their strife, 
Shall sleep beneath my arm. 



24 LYRA CELTICA 

Far in the gentle breeze 
The stag cries on the field; 
The herds answer on the hill, 
And descend to meet the sound. 

I hear the steps of the hunter ! 
His whistling darts his dog upon the hill. 
The joy of youth returns to my cheek 
At the sound of the coming chase ! 

My strength returns at the sounds of the wood ; 
The cry of hounds the thrill of strings. 
Hark! the death-shout "The deer has fallen!" 
I spring to life on the hill! 

I see the bounding dog, 
My companion on the heath; 
The beloved hill of our chase, 
The echoing craig of woods. 

I see the sheltering cave 
Which often received us from the night, 
When the glowing tree and the joyful cup 
Revived us with their cheer. 

Glad was the smoking feast of deer, 

Our drink was from Loch Treig, our music its hum of 

waves ; 

Though ghosts shrieked on the echoing hills, 
Sweet was our rest in the cave. 

I see the mighty mountain, 
Chief of a thousand hills ; 
The dream of deer is in its locks, 
Its head is the bed of clouds. 

I see the ridge of hinds, the steep of the sloping glen, 
The wood of cuckoos at its foot, 
The blue height of a thousand pines, 
Of wolves, and roes, and elks. 



DOMHNULL MAC FHIONNLAIDH 25 

Like the breeze on the lake of firs 
The little ducks skim on the pool, 
At its head is the strath of pines, 
The red rowan bends on its bank. 

There, on the gliding wave, 
The fair swan spreads her wing, 
The broad white wing which never fails 
When she soars amidst the clouds. 

Far wandering over ocean 
She seeks the cold dwelling of seals, 
Where no sail bends the mast, 
Nor prow divides the wave. 

Come to the woody hills 

With the lament of thy love; 

Return, O swan, from the isle of waves, 

And sing from thy course on high. 

Raise thy mournful song 

Pour the sad tale of thy grief; 

The son of the rock shall hear the sound, 

And repeat thy strain of woe. 

Spread thy wing over ocean, 
Mount up on the strength of the winds ; 
Pleasant to my ear is thy sound, 
The song of thy wounded heart 

O youth! thou who hast departed, 
And left my grey and helpless hairs, 
What land has heard on its winds 
Thy cry come o'er its rocks? 

Are the tears in thy eye, O maiden? 

Thou of the lovely brow and lily hand; 

Brightness be around thee for ever! 

Thou shalt return no more from the narrow bed! 



26 LYRA CELTICA 

Tell me, O winds! since now I see them not, 
Where grow the murmuring reeds? 
The reeds which sigh where rest the trout 
On their still transparent fins. 

O raise and bear me on your hands, 
Lay my head beneath the young boughs, 
That their shade may veil my eyes 
When the sun shall rise on high. 

And thou, O gentle sleep 1 

Whose course is with the stars of night; 

Be near with thy dreams of song 

To bring back my days of joy. 

My soul beholds the maid! 

In the shade of the mighty oak, 

Her white hand beneath her golden hair, 

Her soft eye on her beloved. 

He is near but she is silent, 
His beating heart is lost in song, 
Their souls beam from their eyes 
Deer stand on the hill! 

The song has ceased! 

Their bosoms meet ; 

Like the young and stainless rose 

Her lips are pressed to his! 

Blessed be that commune sweet! 
Recalling the joy which returns no more 
Blessed be thy soul, my love! 
Thou maid with the bright flowing locks. 

Hast thou forsaken me, O dream! 
Once more return again! 
Alas! thou art gone, and I am sad 
Bless thee, my love farewell! 



DOMHNULL MAC FHIONNLAIDH 27 

Friends of my youth, farewell! 

Farewell, ye maids of love ! 

I see you now no more with you is summer still, 

With me the winter night! 

O lay me by the roaring fall, 
By the sound of the murmuring craig, 
Let the cruit and the shell be near, 
And the shield of my father's wars. 

breeze of Ocean come, 

With the sound of thy gentle course, 
Raise me on thy wings, O wind, 
And bear me to the isle of rest ; 

Where the heroes of old are gone, 
To the sleep which shall wake no more 
Open the hall of Ossian and Daol 
The night is come the bard departs! 

Behold my dim grey mist ! 

1 go to the dwelling of bards on the hill! 
Give me the airy cruit and shell for the way 
And now my own loved cruit and shell farewell! 



28 LYRA CELTICA 

Ossian Sang. 

Sweet is the voice in the land of gold, 
And sweeter the music of birds that soar, 

When the cry of the heron is heard on the wold, 
And the waves break softly on Bundatrore. 

Down floats on the murmuring of the breeze 

The call of the cuckoo from Cossahun, 
The blackbird is warbling among the trees, 

And soft is the kiss of the warming sun. 

The cry of the eagle of Assaroe 

O'er the court of Mac Morne to me is sweet, 
And sweet is the cry of the bird below 

Where the wave and the wind and the tall cliff meet 

Finn mac Cool is the father of me, 
Whom seven battalions of Fenians fear: 

When he launches his hounds on the open lea 
Grand is their cry as they rouse the deer. 



OLD GAELIC 29 

Fingal and Ros-crana. 

ROS-CRANA. 

By night, came a dream to Ros-crana! I feel my 
beating soul. No vision of the forms of the dead 
came to the blue eyes of Erin. But, rising from the 
wave of the north, I beheld him bright in his locks. I 
beheld the son of the king. My beating soul is high. 
I laid my head down in night : again ascended the form. 
Why delayest thou thy coming, young rider of stormy 
waves ! 

But, there, far-distant, he comes ; where seas roll 
their green ridges in mist 1 Young dweller of my soul ; 
why dost thou delay 

FINGAL. 

It was the soft voice of Moi-lena 1 the pleasant breeze 
of the valley of roes 1 But why dost thou hide thee in 
shades ? Young love of heroes, rise. Are not thy steps 
covered with light? In thy groves thou appearest, Ros- 
crana, like the sun in the gathering of clouds. Why 
dost thou hide thee in shades? Young love of heroes, 
rise. 

ROS-CRANA. 

My fluttering soul is high ! Let me turn from steps 
of the king. He has heard my secret voice, and shall 
my blue eyes roll in his presence ? Roe of the hill of 
moss, toward thy dwelling I move. Meet me, ye 
breezes of Moral as I move through the valley of the 
winds. But why should he ascend his ocean ? Son of 
heroes, my soul is thine ! my steps shall not move to the 
desert ; the light of Ros-crana is here. 

FINGAL. 

It was the light tread of a ghost, the fair dweller of 
eddying winds. Why deceivest thou me with thy voice ? 



30 LYRA CELTICA 

Here let me rest in shades. Shouldst thou stretch thy 
white arm from thy grove, thou sunbeam of Cormac of 
Erin 

ROS-CRANA. 

He is gone ; and my blue eyes are dim ; faint-rolling, 
in all my tears. But, there, I behold him, alone ; king 
of Selma, my soul is thine. Ah me ! what clanging of 
armour ! Colc-ulla of Atha is near ! 



OLD GAELIC 31 

The Night-Song of the Bards. 

[Five bards passing the night in the house of a chief, 
who was a poet himself, went severally to make their 
observations on, and returned with an extempore de- 
scription of, night.] 

FIRST BARD. 

Night is dull and dark. The clouds rest on the 
hills. No star with green trembling beam ; no moon 
looks from the sky. I hear the blast in the wood, but 
I hear it distant far. The stream of the valley murmurs ; 
but its murmur is sullen and sad. From the tree at the 
grave of the dead the long-howling owl is heard. I see 
a dim form on the plain ! It is a ghost 1 it fades, it 
flies. Some funeral shall pass this way: the meteor 
marks the path. 

The distant dog is howling from the hut of the hill. 
The stag lies on the mountain moss : the hind is at his 
side. She hears the wind in his branchy horns. She 
starts, but lies again. 

The roe is in the cleft of the rock ; the heath-cock's 
head is beneath his wing. No beast, no bird is abroad, 
but the owl and the howling fox: she on a leafless 
tree ; he in a cloud on the hill. 

Dark, panting, trembling, sad, the traveller has lost 
his way. Through shrubs, through thorns, he goes, 
along the gurgling rill. He fears the rock and the fen. 
He fears the ghost of night. The old tree groans to 
the blast ; the falling branch resounds. The wind drives 
the withered burrs, clung together, along the grass. It is 
the light tread of a ghost I He trembles amidst the night. 

Dark, dusky, howling, is night, cloudy, windy, and 
full of ghosts I The dead are abroad 1 my friends, re- 
ceive me from the night. 

SECOND BARD. 

The wind is up, the shower descends. The spirit of 
the mountain shrieks. Woods fall from high. Windows 



32 LYRA CELTICA 

flap.* The growing river roars. The traveller attempts 
the ford. Hark! that shriek! he dies! The storm 
drives the horse from the hill, the goat, the lowing cow. 
They tremble as drives the shower, beside the shoulder- 
ing bank. 

The hunter starts from sleep, in his lonely hut ; he 
wakes the fire decayed. His wet dogs smoke around him. 
He fills the chinks with heath. Loud roar two moun- 
tain streams which meet beside his booth, f 

Sad on the side of a hill the wandering shepherd sits. 
The tree resounds above him. The stream roars down 
the rock. He waits for the rising moon to guide him to 
his home. 

Ghosts ride on the storm to-night. Sweet is their 
voice between the squalls of wind. Their songs are of 
other worlds. 

The rain is past. The dry wind blows. Streams 
roar, and windows flap. Cold drops fall from the roof. 
I see the starry sky. But the shower gathers again. 
The west is gloomy and dark. Night is stormy and 
dismal ; receive me, my friends, from night. 

THIRD BARD. 

The wind still sounds between the hills, and whistles 
through the grass of the rock. The firs fall from their 
place. The turfy hut is torn. The clouds, divided, fly 
over the sky, and show the burning stars. The meteor, 
token of death 1 flies sparkling through the gloom. It 
rests on the hill. I see the withered fern, the dark- 
browed rock, the fallen oak. Who is that in his shroud 
beneath the tree, by the stream? 

The waves dark-tumble on the lake, and lash its 
rocky sides. The boat is brimful in the cove ; the oars 
on the rocking tide. A maid sits sad beside the rock, 



* Le. the sheepskin or deerskin coverings for aper- 
tures, still used in some remote shealings and bothain. 
t Shed. 



OLD GAELIC 33 

and eyes the rolling stream. Her lover promised to come. 
She saw his boat, when yet it was light, on the lake. 
Is this his broken boat on the shore? Are these his 
groans on the wind? 

Hark! the hail rattles around. The flaky snow 
descends. The tops of the hills are white. The stormy 
winds abate. Various is the night and cold ; receive me, 
my friends, from night. 

FOURTH BARD. 

Night is calm and fair; blue, starry, settled is night. 
The winds, with the clouds, are gone. They sink 
behind the hill. The moon is up on the mountain. 
Trees glister, streams shine on the rock. Bright rolls 
the settled lake ; bright the stream of the vale. 

I see the trees overturned ; the shocks of corn on the 
plain. The wakeful hind rebuilds the shocks, and 
whistles on the distant field. 

Calm, settled, fair is night I Who comes from the 
place of the dead? That form with the robe of snow, 
white arms, and dark-brown hair ! It is the daughter of 
the chief of the people: she that lately fell! Come, let 
us view thee, O maid ! Thou that hast been the delight 
of heroes ! The blast drives the phantom away ; white, 
without form, it ascends the hill. 

The breezes drive the blue mist, slowly, over the nar- 
row vale. It rises on the hill, and joins its head to heaven. 
Night is settled, calm, blue, starry, bright with the moon. 
Receive me not, my friends, for lovely is the night. 

FIFTH BARD. 

Night is calm, but dreary. The moon is in a cloud in 
the west. Slow moves that pale beam along the shaded 
hill. The distant wave is heard. The torrent murmurs 
on the rock. The cock is heard from the booth.* More 
than half the night is past. The house-wife, groping in 



Here probably the byre. 



34 LYRA CELTICA 

the gloom, re-kindles the settled fire. The hunter thinks 
that day approaches, and calls his bounding dogs. He 
ascends the hill, and whistles on his way. A blast re- 
moves the cloud. He sees the starry plough of the north. 
Much of the night is to pass. He nods by the mossy rock. 

Hark I the whirlwind is in the wood ! A low mur- 
mur in the vale! It is the mighty army of the dead 
returning from the air. 

The moon rests behind the hill. The beam is still on 
that lofty rock. Long are the shadows of the trees. 
Now it is dark over all. Night is dreary, silent, and 
dark ; receive me, my friends, from night. 

THE CHIEF. 

Let clouds rest on the hills : spirits fly, and travellers 
fear. Let the winds of the woods arise, the sounding 
storms descend. Roar streams and windows flap, and 
green-winged meteors fly ! Rise the pale moon from 
behind her hills, or inclose her head in clouds ! Night is 
alike to me, blue, stormy, or gloomy the sky. Night 
flies before the beam, when it is poured on the hill. The 
young day returns from his clouds, but we return no more. 

Where are our chiefs of old? Where are our kings 
of mighty name? The fields of their battles are silent 
Scarce their mossy tombs remain. We shall also be 
forgot. This lofty house shall fall. Our sons shall not 
behold the ruins in grass. They shall ask of the aged, 
"Where stood the walls of our fathers?" 

Raise the song, and strike the harp ; send round the 
shells of joy. Suspend a hundred tapers on high. 
Youths and maids begin the dance. Let some grey bard 
be near me, to tell the deeds of other times ; of kings 
renowned in our land, of chiefs we behold no more. 
Thus let the night pass until morning shall appear in 
our halls. Then let the bow be at hand, the dogs, the 
youths of the chase. We shall ascend the hill with day, 
and awake the deer. 



OSSIAN 35 

Comala. 

FINGAL MELILCOMA ^ Daughters of 

HYDALLAN DERSAGRENA / Morni 
COMALA BARDS 

DERSAGRENA. 

The chase is over. No noise on Ardven but the 
torrent's roar! Daughter of Morni, come from Crona's 
banks. Lay down the bow and take the harp. Let the 
night come on with songs, let our joy be great on 
Ardven. 

MELILCOMA. 

Night comes apace, thou blue-eyed maid! Grey 
night grows dim along the plain. I saw a deer at 
Crona's stream ; a mossy bank he seemed through the 
gloom, but soon he bounded away. A meteor played 
round his branching horns ! The awful faces of other 
times looked from the clouds of Crona ! 

DERSAGRENA. 

These are the signs of Fingal's death. The king of 
shields is fallen! and Caracul prevails. Rise, Comala, 
from thy rock : daughter of Sarno, rise in tears ! The 
youth of thy love is low ; his ghost is on our hills. 

MELILCOMA. 

There Comala sits forlorn ! two grey dogs near 
shake their rough ears, and catch the flying breeze. 
Her red cheek rests upon her arm, the mountain-wind 
is in her hair. She turns her blue eyes toward the fields 
of his promise. Where art thou, O Fingal ? The night 
is gathering around ! 

COMALA. 

O Carun of the streams ! Why do I behold thy 
waters rolling in blood? Has the noise of the battle 



36 LYRA CELTICA 

been heard ; and sleeps the King of Morven ? Rise, 
moon, thou daughter of the sky! Look from between 
thy clouds, rise that I may behold the gleam of his 
steel, on the field of his promise. Or rather let the 
meteor, that lights our fathers through the night, come, 
with its red beam, to show me the way to my fallen 
hero. Who will defend me from sorrow? Who from 
the love of Hydallan? Long shall Comala look before 
she can behold Fingal in the midst of his host ; bright 
as the coming forth of the morning, in the cloud of an 
early shower. 

HYDALLAN. 

Dwell, thou mist of gloomy Crona, dwell on the path 
of the king 1 Hide his steps from mine eyes, let me 
remember my friend no more. The bands of battle are 
scattered, no crowding tread is round the noise of his 
steel. O Carunl roll thy streams of blood, the chief of 
the people is low. 

COMALA. 

Who fell on Carun's sounding banks, son of the 
the cloudy night? Was he white as the snow of 
Ardven? Blooming as the bow of the shower? Was 
his hair like the mist of the hill, soft and curling in the 
day of the sun ? Was he like the thunder of heaven in 
battle ? Fleet as the roe of the desert ? 

HYDALLAN. 

O that I might behold his love, fair leaning from her 
rock I Her red eye dim in tears, her blushing cheek half 
hid in her locks! Blow, O gentle breeze! Lift thou 
the heavy locks of the maid, that I may behold her 
white arm, her lovely cheek in her grief. 

COMALA. 

And is the son of Comhal fallen, chief of the mourn- 
ful tale ? The thunder rolls on the hill ! The lightning 



OSSIAN 37 

flies on wings of fire ! They frighten not Comala ; for 
Fingal is low. Say, chief of the mournful tale, fell the 
breaker of the shields ? 

HYDALLAN. 

The nations are scattered on their hills; they shall 
hear the voice of the king no more. 

COMALA. 

Confusion pursue thee over thy plains! Ruin over- 
take thee, thou king of the world ! Few be thy steps 
to thy grave ; and let one virgin mourn thee ! Let her 
be like Comala, tearful in the days of her youth 1 Why 
hast thou told me, Hydallan, that my hero fell? I 
might have hoped a little while his return, I might 
have thought I saw him on the distant rock ; a tree 
might have deceived me with his appearance ; the wind 
of the hill might have been the sound of his horn in 
mine ear. O that I were on the banks of Carun ! that 
my tears might be warm on his cheek ! 

HYDALLAN. 

He lies not on the banks of Carun ; on Ardven heroes 
raise his tomb. Look on them, O moon ! from thy 
clouds; be thy beam bright on his breast, that Comala 
may behold him in the light of his armour 1 

COMALA. 

Stop, ye sons of the grave, till I behold my love I 
He left me at the chase alone. I knew not that he 
went to war. He said he would return with the night ; 
the King of Morven is returned 1 Why didst thou not 
tell me that he would fall, O trembling dweller of the 
rock ? Thou sawest him in the blood of his youth ; but 
thou didst not tell Comala! 



38 LYRA CELTICA 

MELILCOMA. 

What sound is that on Ardven ? Who is that, bright 
in the vale? Who comes like the strength of rivers, 
when their crowded waters glitter to the moon? 

COMALA. 

Who is it but the foe of Comala, the son of the 
king of the world ? Ghost of Fingal I Do thou from 
thy cloud direct Comala's bow. Let him fall like the 
hart of the desert. It is Fingal in the crowd of his 
ghosts. Why dost thou come, my love, to frighten and 
please my soul ? 

FINGAL. 

Raise, ye bards, the song ; raise the wars of the 
streamy Carun 1 Caracul has fled from our arms along 
the fields of his pride. He sets far distant like a meteor, 
that incloses a spirit of night, when the winds drive it 
over the heath, and the dark woods are gleaming around. 
I heard a voice, or was it the breeze of my hills? Is 
it the huntress of Ardven, the white-handed daughter of 
Sarno ? Look from thy rocks, my love ; let me hear 
the voice of Comala I 

COMALA. 

Take me to the cave of my rest, O lovely son of 
death 1 

FINGAL. 

Come to the cave of my rest. The storm is past, 
the sun is on our fields. Come to the cave of my rest, 
huntress of echoing Ardven ! 

COMALA. 

He is returned with his fame. I feel the right hand 
of his wars. But I must rest beside the rock till my 
soul returns from my fear. O let the harp be near ! 
Raise the song, ye daughters of Morni 1 



OSSIAN 39 

DERSAGRENA. 

Comala has slain three deer on Ardven, the fire 
ascends on the rock ; go to the feast of Comala, king 
of the woody Morven ! 

FINGAL. 

Raise, ye sons of song, the wars of the streamy 
Carun ; that my white-handed maid may rejoice : while 
I behold the feast of my love. 

BARDS. 

Roll, streamy Carun, roll in joy, the sons of battle are 
fled 1 The steed is not seen on our fields ; the wings of 
their pride spread in other lands. The sun will now rise 
in peace, and the shadows descend in joy. The voice of 
the chase will be heard ; the shields hang in the hall. 
Our delight will be in the war of the ocean, our hands 
shall grow red in the blood of Lochlin. Roll, streamy 
Carun, roll in joy, the sons of battle fled ! 

MELILCOMA. 

Descend, ye light mists from high ! Ye moonbeams, 
lift her soul ! Pale lies the maid at the rock. Comala 
is no more I 

FINGAL. 

Is the daughter of Sarno dead, the white-bosomed 
maid of my love? Meet me, Comala, on my 'heaths, 
when I sit alone at the streams of my hills ! 

HYDALLAN. 

Ceased the voice of the huntress of Ardven? Why 
did I trouble the soul of the maid? When shall I see 
thee, with joy, in the chase of the dark-brown hinds ? 

FINGAL. 

Youth of the gloomy brow! No more shalt thou 
feast in my halls. Thou shalt not pursue my chase, my 



40 LYRA CELTICA 

foes shall not fall by thy sword. Lead me to the place 
of her rest that I may behold her beauty. Pale she lies 
at the rock, cold winds lift her hair. Her bow-string 
sounds in the blast, her arrow was broken in her fall. 
Raise the praise of the daughter of Sarno ! Give her 
name to the winds of Heaven ! 

BARDS. 

See 1 Meteors gleam around the maid ! See ! Moon- 
beams lift her soul ! Around her, from their clouds, bend 
the awful faces of her fathers; Sarno of the gloomy 
brow! The red-rolling eyes of Fidallan! When shall 
thy white hand arise? When shall thy voice be heard 
on our rocks? The maids shall seek thee on the heath 
but they shall not find thee. Thou shalt come, at times, 
to their dreams, to settle peace in their soul. Thy voice 
shall remain in their ears, they shall think with joy on 
the dreams of their rest. Meteors gleam around the 
maid, and moon-beams lift her soul. 



OSSIAN 41 

The Death-Song of Ossian. 

Such were the words of the bards in the days of 
song ; when the king heard the music of harps, the tales 
of other times! The chiefs gathered from all their hills, 
and heard the lovely sound. They praised the Voice of 
Cona ! The first among a thousand bards ! But age 
is now on my tongue; my soul has failed! I hear, at 
times, the ghosts of the bards, and learn their pleasant 
song. But memory fails on my mind. I hear the call 
of years! They say, as they pass along, why does 
Ossian sing? Soon shall he lie in the narrow house, 
and no bard shall raise his fame! Roll on, ye dark- 
brown years ; ye bring no joy on your course ! Let the 
tomb open to Ossian, for his strength has failed. The 
sons of song are gone to rest. My voice remains, like 
a blast, that roars, lonely, on a sea-surrounded rock, 
after the winds are laid. The dark moss whistles there ; 
the distant mariner sees the waving trees ! 



II 

ANCIENT 
CORNISH 



44 LYRA CELTICA 

The Pool of Pilate. 

[Wayfarer log. 

Guel yv thy'mmo vy may fe 
mos the wolhy ow dule 

a Thesempes 

me a vyn omma yn dour 
may fans y guyn ha glan lour 

a vostethcs 



Ellas pan fema gynys 
ancow sur yw dynythys 

Scon thy'mmo vy 
ny'm bus bywe na fella 
an dour re wruk thy'm henna 

yn pur deffry. 



ANCIENT CORNISH 45 

The Pool of Pilate. 

[Wayfarer loq. 

It is best to me that it be so 
Go to wash my hands 

Immediately 

I will, here in the water, 
That they may be white, and clean enough 

From dirt. 

[He washes his hands in the water and dies 
immediately.] 

Alas that I was born! 
Death surely is come 

Soon to me. 

Life is no longer for me, 
The water has done that to me 

Very clearly. 



46 LYRA CELTICA 

Merlin the Diviner. 

Merlin ! Merlin 1 where art thou going 
So early in the day, with thy black dog? 
Oil oil oil oil oil oil oil oil oil oil 
Oi ! oi 1 oi 1 ioi ! oi ! 

I have come here to search the way, 

To find the red egg ; 

The red egg of the marine serpent, 

By the sea-side in the hollow of the stone. 

I am going to seek in the valley 

The green water-cress, and the golden grass, 

And the top branch of the oak, 

In the wood by the side of the fountain. 

Merlin 1 Merlin I retrace your steps ; 

Leave the branch on the oak, 

And the green water-cress in the valley, 

As well as the golden grass; 

And leave the red egg of the marine serpent, 

In the foam by the hollow of the stone. 

Merlin 1 Merlin ! retrace thy steps, 

There is no diviner but God. 



ANCIENT CORNISH DRAMA 47 
The Vision of Seth. 

[Adam bids Seth journey to the Gate of Paradise 
the way to be known to him because of the burnt im- 
prints of the feet of himself and Eve on the day they 
were driven forth, sere marks never grass-grown since 
and, after telling him to ask for the oil of mercy, blesses 
him, and sees him go.] 

CHERUBIN. 

Seth, what is thy errand, 
That thou wouldst come so long a way ? 
Tell me soon. 

SETH. 

O angel, I will tell thee : 
My father is old and weary, 

He would not wish to live longer; 

And through me he prayed thee 

To tell the truth 
Of the oil promised to him 

Of mercy in the last day. 

CHERUBIN. 

Within the gate put thy head, 
And behold it all, nor fear, 

Whatever thou seest, 
And look on all sides ; 
Examine well every particular ; 

Search out everything diligently. 

SETH. 

Very joyfully I will do it ; 

I am glad to have permission 
To know what is there, 

To tell it to my father. 



48 LYRA CELTICA 

[And he looks, and turns round, saying : ] 
Fair field is this ; 

Unhappy he who lost the country : 
And the tree, it is to me 

A great wonder that it is dry ; 
But I believe that it is dry, 
And all made bare, for the sin 

Which my father and mother sinned. 
Like the prints of their feet, 
They are all dry, like herbs. 

Alas, that the morsel was eaten. 

CHERUBIN. 

O Seth, thou art come 
Within the Gate of Paradise ; 
Tell me what thou sawest. 

SETH. 

All the beauty that I saw 

The tongue of no man in the world can 

Tell it ever. 

Of good fruit, and fair flowers, 
Minstrels and sweet song, 

A fountain bright as silver; 
And four springs, large indeed, 
Flowing from it, 

That there is a desire to look at them. 

In it there is a tree, 
High with many boughs ; 

But they are all bare, without leaves. 
And around it, bark 
There was none, from the stem to the head 

All its boughs are bare. 

And at the bottom, when I looked, 

I saw its roots 
Even into hell descending, 

In the midst of great darkness. 



ANCIENT CORNISH DRAMA 49 

And its branches growing up, 

Even to heaven high in light ; 
And it was without bark altogether, 

Both the head and the boughs. 

CHERUBIM. 

Look yet again within, 
And all else thou shalt see 
Before thou come from it. 

SETH. 

I am happy that I have permission ; 
I will go to the gate immediately, 
That I may see further good. 

[He goes, and looks, and returns. 

CHERUBIN. 

Dost thou see more now, 

Than what there was just now ? 

SETH. 

There is a serpent in the tree ; 
An ugly beast, without fail. 

CHERUBIN. 

Go yet a third time to it, 

And look better at the tree. 

Look, what you can see in it, 

Besides roots and branches. 

[Again he goes up. 
SETH. 

Cherub, angel of the God of grace, 
In the tree I saw, 

High up on the branches, 
A little child newly born ; 
And he was swathed in cloths, 
And bound fast with napkins. 
D 



50 LYRA CELTICA 

CHERUBIN. 

The Son of God it was whom thou sawest, 
Like a little child swathed. 

He will redeem Adam, thy father, 
With his flesh and blood too, 
When the time is come, 

And thy mother, and all the good people. 

He is the oil of mercy, 

Which was promised to thy father ; 
Through his death, clearly, 

All the world will be saved. 

SETH. 

Blessed be he : 

God, now I am happy ; 
Knowing the truth all plainly, 

1 will go from thee. 

CHERUBIN. 

Take three kernels of the apple, 

Which Adam, thy father, ate. 
When he dies, put them, without fail, 

Between his teeth and tongue. 
From them thou wilt see 

Three trees grow presently ; 
For he will not live more than three days 

After thou reachest home. 

SETH. 

Blessed be thou every day ; 

I honour thee ever very truly : 
My father will be very joyful, 
If he soon passes from life. 



Ill 

ANCIENT 

ARMORICAN 

(Breton) 



ANCIENT BRETON 53 

The Dance of the Sword. 
(Ha Korol ar C'Hleze.) 

Blood, wine, and glee, 

Sun, to thee, 
Blood, wine, and glee! 

Fire ! fire ! steel, Oh ! steel ! 

Fire, fire ! steel and fire ! 

Oak! oak, earth, and waves! 

Waves, oak, earth and oak ! 

Glee of dance and song, 

And battle-throng, 
Battle, dance, and song I 

Fire! fire! steel, etc. 

Let the sword blades swing 

In a ring, 

Let the sword blades swing! 
Fire! fire! steel, etc. 

Song of the blue steel, 

Death to feel, 
Song of the blue steel ! 

Fire ! fire ! steel, etc. 

Fight, whereof the sword 

Is the Lord, 
Fight of the fell sword ! 

Fire ! fire ! steel, etc. 

Sword, thou mighty king 

Of battle's ring, 
Sword thou mighty king ! 

Fire ! fire ! steel, etc. 



54 LYRA CELTICA 

With the rainbow's light 

Be thou bright, 
With the rainbow's light! 

Fire ! fire I steel, Oh ! steel I 

Fire, fire I steel and fire ! 

Oak ! oak, earth and waves ! 

Waves, oak, earth, and oak ! 



ANCIENT BRETON 55 

The Lord Nann and the Fairy. 
(Aotron Nann Hag ar Gorrigan.) 

The good Lord Nann and his fair bride 
Were young when wedlock's knot was tied 
Were young when death did them divide. 

But yesterday that lady fair 

Two babes as white as snow did bear ; 

A man-child and a girl they were. 

" Now, say what is thy heart's desire, 
For making me a man-child's sire? 
'Tis thine, whate'er thou may'st require, 

" What food soe'er thee lists to take, 
Meat of the woodcock from the lake, 
Meat of the wild deer from the brake." 

" Oh, the meat of the deer is dainty food ! 
To eat thereof would do me good, 
But I grudge to send thee to the wood." 

The Lord of Nann, when this he heard, 
Hath gripp'd his oak spear with never a word ; 
His bonny black horse he hath leap'd upon, 
And forth to the greenwood hath he gone. 

By the skirts of the wood as he did go, 
He was ware of a hind as white as snow. 

Oh, fast she ran, and fast he rode, 

That the earth it shook where his horse-hoofs trode. 

Oh, fast he rode, and fast she ran, 

That the sweat to drop from his brow began 

That the sweat on his horse's flank stood white ; 
So he rode and rode till the fall o' the night. 



56 LYRA CELTICA 

When he came to a stream that fed a lawn, 
Hard by the grot of a Corrigaun. 

The grass grew thick by the streamlet's brink, 
And he lighted down off his horse to drink. 

The Corrigaun sat by the fountain fair, 
A-combing her long and yellow hair. 

A-combing her hair with a comb of gold, 
(Not poor, I trow, are those maidens cold). 

" Now who's the bold wight that dares come here 
To trouble my fairy fountain clear? 

" Either thou straight shall wed with me, 
Or pine for four long years and three ; 
Or dead in three days' space shall be." 

" I will not wed with thee, I ween, 
For wedded man a year I 've been ; 

" Nor yet for seven years will I pine, 
Nor die in three days for spell of thine ; 

" For spell of thine I will not die, 
But when it pleaseth God on high. 

" But here, and now, I'd leave my life, 
Ere take a Corrigaun to wife. 

" O mother, mother! for love of me, 
Now make my bed, and speedily, 
For I am sick as a man can be. 

" Oh, never the tale to my lady tell ; 
Three days and ye '11 hear my passing bell ; 
The Corrigaun hath cast her spell." 

Three days they pass'd, three days were sped, 
To her mother-in-law the ladye said : 



ANCIENT BRETON 57 

" Now tell me, madam, now tell me, pray, 
Wherefore the death-bells toll to-day? 

" Why chaunt the priests in the street below, 
All clad in their vestments white as snow?" 

" A strange poor man, who harbour'd here, 
He died last night, my daughter dear." 

" But tell me, madam, my lord, your son 
My husband whither is he gone ? " 

" But to the town, my child, he's gone; 
And at your side he'll be back anon." 

" What gown for my churching were't best to wear, 
My gown of grain, or of watchet fair ? " 

" The fashion of late, my child, hath grown, 
That women for churching black should don." 

As through the churchyard porch she stept, 
She saw the grave where her husband slept. 

" Who of our blood is lately dead, 
That our ground is new raked and spread?" 

" The truth I may no more forbear, 
My son your own poor lord lies there ! " 

She threw herself on her knees amain, 
And from her knees ne'er rose again. 

That night they laid her, dead and cold, 
Beside her lord, beneath the mould ; 
When, lo! a marvel to behold! 

Next morn from the grave two oak-trees fair, 
Shot lusty boughs high up in air; 

And in their boughs oh wondrous sight ! 
Two happy doves, all snowy white 

That sang, as ever the morn did rise, 
And then flew up into the skies ! 



58 LYRA CELTICA 

Alain the Fox. 

The bearded fox is yelping, yelp, yelping through the 

glades ; 
Woe to the foreign rabbits ! His eyes are two keen 

blades. 

His teeth are keen ; his feet are swift ; his nails are red 

with blood. 
Alain the fox is yelping war : yelp, yelping in the wood. 

The Bretons making sharp their arms of terror I did see, 
It was on cuirasses of Gaul, not stones of Brittany. 

The Bretons reaping did I see, upon the fields of war ; 
It was not notched reaping-hooks, but swords of steel 
they bore. 

They reapt no wheat of our own land, they reaped not 

our rye; 
But the beardless ears, the beardless ears of Gaul and 

Saxony. 

I saw upon the threshing-floor the Bretons threshing 
corn: 

I saw the beaten chaff fly out from beardless ears off- 
torn. 

It was not with their wooden flails the Bretons thresht 

the wheat ; 
But with their iron boar-spears and with their horses' 

feet. 

I heard the cry when threshing's done, the joy-cry 

onward borne 
Far, far from Mont-Saint-Michel to the valleys of Elorn : 

From the abbey of Saint Gildas far on to the Land's- 

End rocks. 
In Brittany's four corners give a glory to the Fox ! 



ANCIENT BRETON 59 

From age to age give glory to the Fox a thousand 

times! 
But weep ye for the rhymer, though he recollect his 

rhymes ! 

For he that sang this song the first since then hath 

never sung : 
Ah me, alas ! Unhappy man ! The Gauls cut out his 

tongue. 

But though no more he hath a tongue, a heart is 

always his : 
He has both hand and heart to shoot his arrowy 

melodies. 



6o LYRA CELTICA 

Bran. 
(The Crow.) 

Wounded full sore is Bran the knight ; 
For he was at Kerloan fight ; 

At Kerloan fight, by wild seashore 
Was Bran-Vor's grandson wounded sore ; 

And, though we gained the victory, 
Was captive borne beyond the sea. 

He when he came beyond the sea, 
In the close keep wept bitterly. 

" They leap at home with joyous cry 
While, woe is me, in bed I lie. 

Could I but find a messenger, 
Who to my mother news would bear ! " 

They quickly found a messenger ; 
His hest thus gave the warrior : 

" Heed thou to dress in other guise, 
My messenger, dress beggar-wise! 

Take thou my ring, my ring of gold, 
That she thy news as truth may hold ! 

Unto my country straightway go, 
It to my lady mother show ! 

Should she come free her son from hold, 
A flag of white do thou unfold ! 

But if with thee she come not back, 
Unfurl, ah me, a pennon black ! " 

So, when to Leon-land he came, 
At supper table sat the dame, 

At table with her family, 
The harpers playing as should be. 

" Dame of the castle, hail ! I bring 
From Bran your son this golden ring, 

His golden ring and letter too; 
Read it, oh read it, straightway through!" 



ANCIENT BRETON 61 

"Ye harpers, cease ye, play no more, 
For with great grief ray heart is sore! 

My son (cease harpers, play no morel) 
In prison, and I did not know I 

Prepare to-night a ship for me! 
To-morrow I go across the sea." 

The morning of the next, next day 
The Lord Bran questioned, as he lay : 

"Sentinel, sentinel, soothly say! 
Seest thou no vessel on its way?" 

"My lord the knight, I nought espy 
Except the great sea and the sky." 

The Lord Bran askt him yet once more, 
Whenas the day's course half was o'er ; 

"Sentinel, sentinel, soothly say! 
Seest thou no vessel on its way?" 

"I can see nothing, my lord the knight, 
Except the sea-birds i' their flight" 

The Lord Bran askt him yet again, 
Whenas the day was on the wane; 

"Sentinel, sentinel, soothly say! 
Seest thou no vessel on its way?" 

Then that false sentinel, the while 
Smiling a mischief-working smile ; 

" I see afar a misty form 
A ship sore beaten by the storm." 

"The flag? Quick give the answer back ! 
The banner? Is it white or black?" 

"Far as I see, 'tis black, Sir knight, 
I swear it by the coal's red light." 

When this the sorrowing knight had heard 
Again he never spoke a word; 

But turn'd aside his visage wan ; 
And then the fever fit began. 

Now of the townsmen askt the dame, 
When at the last to shore she came, 



62 LYRA CELTICA 

"What is the news here, townsmen, tell! 
That thus I hear them toll the bell?" 

An aged man the lady heard, 
And thus he answer'd to her word: 

"We in the prison held a knight; 
And he hath died here in the night." 

Scarcely to end his words were brought, 
When the high tower that lady sought; 

Shedding salt tears and running fast, 
Her white hair scatter'd in the blast, 

So that the townsmen wonderingly 
Full sorely marvell'd her to see; 

Whenas they saw a lady strange, 
Through their streets so sadly range, 

Each one in thought did musing stand; 
"Who is the lady, from what land?" 

Soon as the donjon's foot she reacht, 
The porter that poor dame beseecht; 

"Ope, quickly ope, the gate for me! 
My son! My son! Him would I see!" 

Slowly the great gate open drew; 
Herself upon her son she threw, 

Close in her arms his corpse to strain, 
The lady never rose again. 

There is a tree, that doth look o'er 
From Kerloan's battle-field to th' shore; 

An oak. Before great Evan's face 
The Saxons fled in that same place. 

Upon that oak in clear moonlight, 
Together come the birds at night; 

Black birds and white, but sea birds all; 
On each one's brow a blood-stain small, 

With them a raven gray and old; 
With her a crow comes young and bold. 

Both with soil'd wings, both wearied are; 
They come beyond the seas from far : 



ANCIENT BRETON 63 

And the birds sing so lovelily 
That silence comes on the great sea. 

All sing in concert sweet and low 
Except the raven and the crow. 

Once was the crow heard murmuring: 
"Sing, little birds, ye well may sing! 

Sing, for this is your own countric! 
Ye died not far from Brittany!" 



IV 

EARLY CYMRIC AND 
MEDIAEVAL WELSH 



EARLY CYMRIC 67 

The Soul. 

(From "The Black Book of Caermarthen.") 

Soul, since I was made in necessity blameless 

True it is, woe is me that thou shouldst have come to 

my design, 
Neither for my own sake, nor for death, nor for end, 

nor for beginning. 

It was with seven faculties that I was thus blessed, 
With seven created beings I was placed for purification ; 
I was gleaming fire when I was caused to exist; 
I was dust of the earth, and grief could not reach me ; 
I was a high wind, being less evil than good ; 
I was a mist on a mountain seeking supplies of stags ; 
I was blossoms of trees on the face of the earth. 
If the Lord had blessed me, He would have placed me 

on matter. 

Soul, since I was made 



68 LYRA CELTICA 

The Gorwynion. 

The tops of the ash glisten, that are white and stately, 

When growing on the top of the dingle : 

The breast rackt with pain, longing is its complaint. 

Brightly glitters the top of the cliff at the long midnight 

hour; 

Every ingenious person will be honoured : 
'Tis the duty of the fair, to afford sleep to him that is 

in pain. 

Brightly glistens the willow tops; the fish are merry in 

the lakes, 
Blustering is the wind over the tops of the small 

branches : 
Nature over learning doth prevail. 

Brightly glisten the tops of the furze; have confidence 

with the wise, 

But from the unwise tear thyself afar ; 
Besides God there is none that sees futurity. 

Brightly glisten the clover tops : the timid has no heart ; 
Wearied out are the jealous ones : 
Cares attend the weak. 

Brightly glisten the tops of reed-grass ; furious is the 

jealous, 

If any should perchance offend him : 
'Tis the maxim of the prudent to love with sincerity. 

Brightly glare the tops of the mountains from the blus- 
tering of winter, 

Full are the stalks of reeds ; heavy is oppression : 
Against famine bashfulness will vanish. 

Brightly glare the tops of mountains assail'd by winter 

cold; 

Brittle are the reeds ; the mead is incrusted over ; 
Playful is the heedless in banishment. 



LLYWARC'H HEN 69 

Bright are the tops of the oaks, bitter are the ash 

branches ; 

Before the duck, the dividing waves are seen : 
Confident is deceit ; care is deeply rooted in my heart. 

Brightly glisten the tops of the oaks, bitter are the ash 

branches ; 
Sweet is the sheltering hedge; the wave is a noisy 

grinner ; 
The cheek cannot conceal the trouble of the heart 

Bright is the top of the eglantine; hardship dispenses 

with forms, 

Let everyone keep his fire-side : 
The greatest blemish is ill-manners. 

Brightly glitters the top of the broom; may the lover 

have a home ; 

Very yellow seem the clustered branches ; 
Shallow is the ford ; sleep visits the contented mind. 

Brightly glitters the top of the apple-tree ; the prosperous 

is circumspect. 

In the long day the stagnant pool is warm ; 
Thick is the veil on the light of the blind prisoner. 

Very glittering are the hazel-tops by the hill of Dig ; 
Every prudent one will be free from harm ; 
'Tis the act of the mighty to keep a treaty. 

Glittering are the tops of the reeds ; the fat are drowsy 
And the young imbibe instruction ; 
None but the foolish will break faith. 

Glittering is the top of the lily; let every bold one be 

a drinker; 

The word of a tribe is superior ; 
'Tis usual for the unjust to break his word. 



70 LYRA CELTICA 

Bright are the tops of heath; miscarriage attends the 

timid; 

Boldly laves the water on its banks. 
"Tis the maxim of the just to keep his word. 

The tops of the rushes glitter ; the kine are gentle ; 
Running are my tears this day, 
Social comfort from man there is not. 

Glittering are the tops of fern, yellow is the wild mary- 

gold ; 

The sea is a fence for blind ones : 
Swift and active are the young men. 

Glittering are the tops of the service-tree; care attends 

the old ; 

The bees frequent the wilds ; 
Vengeance only to God belongs. 

Brightly glitters the tops of the oak; incessant is the 

tempest ; 
The bees are high in their flight, brittle is the charr'd 

brushwood, 
The wanton is apt to laugh too frequently. 

The hazel grove brightly glitters, even and uniform seem 

the brakes ; 

And with leaves the oaks envelop themselves ; 
Happy is he who sees the one he loves ! 

Glittering seems the top of the oak; coolly purls the 

stream ; 

I wish to obtain the top of the birchen grove ; 
Abruptly goes the arrow of the haughty to give pain. 

Brightly glitters the top of the hard holly, that opens 

its golden leaves ; 

When all are asleep on the surrounding walls, 
God slumbers not when He means to give deliverance. 



LLYWARC'H HEN 71 

Glittering are the tops of the willows, brittle and tender ; 
In the long day of summer the war-horse flags, 
Those that have mutual friendships will not offend. 

Glittering are the tops of rushes, the stems are full of 

prickles ; 

When drawn under the pillow; 
The wanton mind will be haughty. 

Bright is the top of the hawthorn ; confident is the fight 

of the steed ; 

It behoves the dependant to be grateful; 
May it be good what the speedy messenger brings. 

Glittering are the tops of cresses ; warlike is the steed ; 
Trees are fair ornaments of the ground ; 
Joyful is the soul with the one it loves. 

Brightly glares the top of the bush, valuable is the 

steed ; 

Reason joined with strength is effectual ; 
Let the unskilful be void of strength. 

GUttering are the tops of the brakes, birds are their fair 

jewels ; 

The long day is the gift of the radiant light, 
Mercy was formed by God, the most beneficent. 

Glittering are the elmwood tops, sweet the music of the 

grove ; 

Boisterous among the trees the wind doth whistle ; 
Interceding with the obdurate will not avail. 

Gh'ttering are the tops of elder-trees ; bold is the solitary 

songster ; 

Accustomed is the violent to oppress ; 
By want of care the food in hand may be lost 



72 LYRA CELTICA 

The Tercets of Llywarc'h. 

Entangling is the snare, clustered is the ash ; 

The ducks are in the pond ; white breaks the wave ; 

More powerful than a hundred is the counsel of the heart 

Long the night, boisterous is the sea-shore ; 

Usual a tumult in a congregation ; 

The vicious will not agree with the good. 

Long the night, boisterous is the mountain, 
The wind whistles over the tops of trees ; 
Ill-nature will not deceive the discreet. 

The saplings of the green-topped birch 
Will extricate my foot from the shackle; 
Disclose not thy secret to a youth. 

The saplings of oaks in the grove 
Will extricate my foot from the chain ; 
Disclose no secret to a maid. 

The saplings of the leafy oaks 

Will extricate my foot from the prison; 

Divulge no secret to a babbler. 

The saplings of bramble have berries on them ; 
The thrush is on her nest ; 
The liar will never be silent 

Rain without, the fern is drenched ; 

White the gravel of the sea ; there is spray on the margin ; 

Reason is the fairest lamp for man. 

Rain without, near is the shelter, 

The furze yellow ; the cow-parsnip withered and dry ; 

God the Creator ! why hast thou made me a coward ? 

Rain without, my hair is drenched; 

Full of complaint is the feeble ; steep the cliff ; 

Pale white is the sea ; salt is the brine. 

Rain without, the ocean is drenched ; 

The wind whistles over the tops of the reeds ; 

After every feat, still without the genius. 



TALIESIN 73 

Song to the Wind. 

Discover them what is 

The strong creature from before the flood, 

Without flesh, without bone, 

Without vein, without blood, 

Without head, without feet ; 

It will neither be older nor younger 

Than at the beginning; 

For fear of a denial, 

These are no rude wants 

With creatures. 

Great God ! how the sea whitens 

When first it comes! 

Great are its gusts 

When it comes from the south ; 

Great are its evaporations 

When it strikes on coasts. 

It is in the field, it is in the wood, 

Without hand and without foot, 

Without signs of old age, 

Though it be co-eval 

With the five ages or periods ; 

And older still, 

Though they be numberless years. 

It is also so wide ; 

As the surface of the earth ; 

And it was not born, 

Nor was it seen. 

It will cause consternation 

Wherever God willeth. 

On sea, and on land, 

It neither sees, nor is seen. 

Its course is devious, 

And will not come when desired 

On land and on sea 

It is indispensable. 



74 LYRA CELTICA 

It is without an equal, 

It is four-sided ; 

It is not confined, 

It is incomparable ; 

It comes from four quarters ; 

It will not be advised, 

It will not be without advice. 

It commences its journey 

Above the marble rock. 

It is sonorous, it is dumb, 

It is mild, 

It is strong, it is bold, 

When it glances over the land. 

It is silent, it is vocal, 

It is clamorous, 

It is the most noisy 

On the face of the earth. 

It is good, it is bad, 

It is extremely injurious. 

It is concealed, 

Because sight cannot perceive it. 

It is noxious, it is beneficial ; 

It is yonder, it is here ; 

It will discompose, 

But will not repair the injury ; 

It will not suffer for its doings, 

Seeing it is blameless. 

It is wet, it is dry, 

It frequently comes, 

Proceeding from the heat of the sun, 

And the coldness of the moon. 

The moon is less beneficial, 

Inasmuch as her heat is less. 

One Being has prepared it, 

Out of all creatures, 

By a tremendous blast, 

To wreck vengeance 

On Maelgwn Gwynedd. 



ANEURIN 75 

Odes of the Months. 

Month of January smoky is the vale ; 
Weary the wine-bearer ; strolling the minstrel ; 
Lean the cow ; seldom the hum of the bee ; 
Empty the milking fold ; void of meat the kiln ; 
Slender the horse ; very silent the bird ; 
Long to the early dawn ; short the afternoon ; 
Justly spoke Cynfelyn, 
"Prudence is the best guide for man." 

Month of February scarce are the dainties ; 

Wakeful the adder to generate its poison ; 

Habitual is reproach from frequent acknowledgment ; 

The hired ox has not skill to complain ; 

Three things produce dreadful evils, 

A woman's counsel, murder, and way-laying ; 

Best is the dog upon a morning in spring ; 

Alas I to him who murders his maid 1 

Month of March great is the forwardness of the birds, 

Severe is the cold wind upon the headlands; 

Serene weather will be longer than the crops ; 

Longer continues anger than grief; 

Every one feels dread ; 

Every bird wings to its mate. 

Every thing springs through the earth ; 

But the dead, strong is his prison 1 

Month of April aerial is the horizon ; 
Fatigued the oxen ; bare the land ; 
Common is the visitor without an invitation ; 
Poor the deer ; blithesome the hare ; 
Everyone claims his labour ; 
Happy his state who governs himself; 
Common is separation with virtuous children ; 
Common, after presumption, is a long cessation. 



76 LYRA CELTICA 

Month of May wanton is the lascivious ; 

Sheltering the ditch to everyone who loves it ; 

Joyous the aged in his robes ; 

Loquacious the cuckoo in the rural vales ; 

Easy is society where there is affection ; 

Covered with foliage are the woods, sportive the 

amorous, 

There comes as often to the market, 
The skin of the lamb as the skin of the sheep. 

Month of June beautiful are the fields ; 
Smooth the sea, pleasing the strand ; 
Beautifully long the day, playful the ladies ; 
Full the flocks, apt to be firm the bog ; 
God loves all tranquillity ; 
The devil loves all mischief; 
Every one covets honour ; 
Every mighty one, feeble his end. 

Month of July the hay is apt to smoke ; 

Ardent the heat, dissolved the snow ; 

The vagrant does not love a long confederacy ; 

There is no success to the progeny of an unchaste 

person ; 

Bare the farm-yardpartly empty the circular eminence ; 
Clean the perfect person, disgraceful the boasting word ; 
Justly spoke the foster-son of Mary, 
" God judges, though man may prate." 

Month of August covered with foam is the beach ; 

Blithesome the bee, full the hive; 

Better the work of the sickle than the bow ; 

Fuller the stack than the theatre. 

He that will neither work nor pray, 

Is not worthy to have bread ; 

Justly spoke Saint Breda, 

"Evil will not be approached less than good." 



ANEURIN 77 

Month of September benign are the planets ; 

Tending to please, the sea and the hamlet ; 

Common is it for steeds and men to be fatigued ; 

Common is it to possess all kinds of fruit : 

A princely girl was born, 

To be our leader from painful slavery; 

Justly spake Saint Berned, 

"God does not sleep when he gives deliverance." 

Month of October penetrable is the shelter ; 

Yellow the tops of the birch, solitary the summer 

dwelling ; 

Full of fat the birds and the fish ; 
Less and less the milk of the cow and the goat ; 
Alas 1 to him who merits disgrace by sin 1 
Death is better than frequent extravagance ; 
Three things follow every crime, 
Fasting, prayer, and charity. 

Month of November very fat are the swine ; 
Let the shepherd go ; let the minstrel come ; 
Bloody the blade, full the barn ; 
Pleased the sea, tasteless the caldron ; 
Long the night, active the prisoner ; 
Respected is every one who possesses property ; 
For three things men are not often concerned, 
Sorrow, angry look, and an illiberal miser. 

Month of December the shoe is covered with dirt : 
Heavy the land, flagging the sun ; 
Bare are the trees, still is the muscle ; 
Cheerful the cock, and determined the thief; 
Whilst the twelve months proceed so sprightly, 
Round the youthful mind, is the spoiler Satan ; 
Justly spoke Yscolan, 
"God is better than an evil prophecy." 



78 LYRA CELTICA 

The Summer. 

Thou Summer ! father of delight, 
With thy dense spray and thickets deep ; 
Gemm'd monarch, with thy rapt'rous light. 
Rousing thy subject glens from sleep ! 
Proud has thy march of triumph been, 
Thou prophet, prince of forest green 1 
Artificer of wood and tree, 
? Thou painter of unrivalled skill, 

Who ever scatters gems like thee, 

And gorgeous webs on park and hill? 

Till vale and hill with radiant dyes 

Become another Paradise 1 

And thou hast sprinkled leaves and flow'rs, 

And goodly chains of leafy bow'rs ; 

And bid thy youthful warblers sing 

On oak and knoll, the song of spring, 

And black-birds' note of ecstacy 

Burst loudly from the woodbine tree, 

Till all the world is thronged with gladness 

Her multitudes have done with sadness ! 

O Summer! do I ask in vain? 

Thus in thy glory wilt thou deign 

My messenger to be? 

Hence from the bowels of the land 

Of wild, wild Gwyneth to the strand 

Of fair Glamorgan ocean's band 

Sweet margin of the sea ! 

To dear Glamorgan, when we part, 

Oh bear a thousand times my heart ! 

My blessing give a thousand times, 

And crown with joy her glowing climes ? 

Take on her lovely vales thy stand, 

And tread and trample round the land, 

The beauteous shore whose harvest lies 

All sheltered from inclement skies. 



DAVYDD AB GWILYM 79 

Radiant with com and vineyards sweet, 

The lakes of fish and mansions neat, 

With halls of stone where kindness dwells, 

And where each hospitable lord 

Heaps for the stranger guest his board 1 

And where the generous wine cup swells ; 

With trees that bear a luscious pear, 

So thickly clustering everywhere, 

That the fair country of my love 

Looks dense as one continuous grove ! 

Her lofty woods with warblers teem, 

Her fields with fiow'rs that love the stream ; 

Her valleys varied crops display, 

Eight kinds of corn, and three of hay ; 

Bright parlour, with her trefoiled floor ! 

Sweet garden, spread on ocean's shore! 

Glamorgan's bounteous knights award 

Bright mead and burnished gold to me: 

Glamorgan boasts of many a bard, 

Well skilled in harp and vocal glee : 

The districts round her border spread 

From her have drawn their daily bread 

Her milk, her meat, her varied stores, 

Have been the life of distant shores I 

And court and hamlet food have found 

From the rich soil of Britain's southern bound. 

And wilt thou then obey my power, 

Thou Summer, in thy brightest hour? 

To her thy glorious hues unfold 

In one rich embassy of gold ! 

Her morns with bliss and splendour light, 

And fondly kiss her mansions white ; 

Fling wealth and verdure o'er her bow'rs ! 

And for her gather all thy flow'rs ! 

Glance o'er her castles, white with lime, 

With genial glimmerings sublime ; 

Plant on the verdant coast thy feet, 



8o LYRA CELTICA 

Her lofty hills, her woodlands greet. 
Oh 1 lavish blossoms with thy hand 
O'er all the forests of the land ; 
And let thy gifts like floods descending, 
O'er every hill and glen be blending ; 
Let orchard, garden, vine express 
Thy fulness and thy fruitfulness 
O'er all the land of beauty fling 
The costly traces of thy wing ! 
And thus 'mid all thy radiant flowers, 
Thy thickening leaves and glossy bowers, 
The poet's task shall be to glean 
Roses and flowers that softly bloom 
(The jewel of the forest's gloom !), 
And trefoils wove in pavement green, 
With sad humility to grace 
His golden Ivor's resting-place. 



DAVYDD AB GWILYM 81 

To the Lark. 

T'R Ehedydd. 

Sentinel of the morning light ! 
Reveller of the spring ! 
How sweetly, nobly wild thy flight, 
Thy boundless journeying : 
Far from thy brethren of the woods, alone, 
A hermit chorister before God's throne I 

Oh 1 wilt thou climb yon heavens for me, 
Yon rampart's starry height, 
Thou interlude of melody 

'Twixt darkness and the light, 
And seek with heav'n's first dawn upon thy crest, 
My lady love, the moonbeam of the west ? 

No woodland caroller art thou ; 

Far from the archer's eye, 

Thy course is o'er the mountain's brow, 

Thy music in the sky : 
Then fearless float thy path of cloud along, 
Thou earthly denizen of angel song. 



82 LYRA CELTICA 

To the Fox. 

The wretch my starry bird who slew, 

Beast of the flameless ember hue, 

Assassin, glutton of the night, 

Mixed of all creatures that defile, 

Land lobster, fugitive of light, 

Thou coward mountain crocodile ; 

With downcast eye and ragged tail, 

That haunt'st the hollow rocks, 

Thief, ever ready to assail 

The undefended flocks, 

Thy brass-hued breast and tattered locks 

Shall not protect thee from the hound, 

When with unbaffled eye he mocks 

Thy mazy fortress underground, 

Whilst o'er my peacock's shattered plumes shall shine 

A pretty bower of faery eglantine. 



RYHS GOCH 83 

The Song of the Thrush. 

I was on the margin of a plain, 

Under a wide spreading tree, 

Hearing the song 

Of the wild birds ; 

Listening to the language 

Of the thrush cock, 

Who from the wood of the valley 

Composed a verse 

From the wood of the steep, 

He sang exquisitely. 

Speckled was his breast 

Amongst the green leaves, 

As upon branches 

Of a thousand blossoms 

On the bank of a brook, 

All heard 

With the dawn the song, 

Like a silver bell ; 

Performing a sacrifice, 

Until the hour of forenoon ; 

Upon the green altar 

Ministering Bardism. 

From the branches of the hazel 

Of green broad leaves 

He sings an ode 

To God the Creator; 

With a carol of love 

From the green glade, 

To all in the hollow 

Of the glen, who love him ; 

Balm of the heart 

To those who love. 

I had from his beak 

The voice of inspiration, 

A song of metres 



84 LYRA CELTICA 

That gratified me ; 

Glad was I made 

By his minstrelsy. 

Then respectfully 

Uttered I an address 

From the stream of the valley 

To the bird. 

I requested urgently 

His undertaking a message 

To the fair one 

Where dwells my affection. 

Gone is the bard of the leaves 

From the small twigs 

To the second Lunet, 

The sun of the maidens I 

To the streams of the plain 

St Mary prosper him, 

To bring to me, 

Under the green woods 

The hue of the snow of one night, 

Without delay. 



PART II 

I 

IRISH 

(Modern and 
Contemporary) 



"A. E." 87 

Sacrifice. 

Those delicate wanderers, 
The wind, the star, the cloud, 
Ever before mine eyes, 
As to an altar bowed, 
Light and dew-laden airs 
Offer in sacrifice. 

The offerings arise: 
Hazes of rainbow light, 
Pure crystal, blue, and gold, 
Through dreamland take their flight ; 
And 'mid the sacrifice 
God moveth as of old. 

In miracles of fire 
He symbols forth His days ; 
In gleams of crystal light 
Reveals what pure pathways 
Lead to the soul's desire, 
The silence of the height. 



88 LYRA CELTICA 

The Great Breath. 

Its edges foamed with amethyst and rose, 
Withers once more the old blue flower of day : 
There where the ether like a diamond glows 
Its petals fade away. 

A shadowy tumult stirs the dusky air ; 
Sparkle the delicate dews, the distant snows ; 
The great deep thrills, for through it everywhere 
The breath of Beauty blows. 

I saw how all the trembling ages past, 
Moulded to her by deep and deeper breath, 
Neared to the hour when Beauty breathes her last 
And knows herself in death. 



"A. E." 89 

Mystery. 

Why does this sudden passion smite me? 
I stretch my hands all blind to see : 
I need the lamp of the world to light me, 
Lead me and set me free. 

Something a moment seemed to stoop from 
The night with cool cool breath on my face: 
Or did the hair of the twilight droop from 
Its silent wandering ways? 

About me in the thick wood netted 
The wizard glow looks human-wise ; 
And over the tree-tops barred and fretted 
Ponders with strange old eyes. 

The tremulous lips of air blow by me 
And hymn their time-old melody : 
Its secret strain comes nigh and nigh me : 
"Ah, brother, come with me; 

'For here the ancient mother lingers 
To dip her hands in the diamond dew, 
And lave thine ache with cloud-cool fingers 
Till sorrow die from you." 



90 LYRA CELTICA 

By the Margin of the Great Deep. 

When the breath of twilight blows to flame the misty 

skies, 

All its vaporous sapphire, violet glow and silver gleam, 
With their magic flood me through the gateway of the 

eyes; 

I am one with the twilight's dream. 

When the trees and skies and fields are one in dusky 

mood, 

Every heart of man is rapt within the mother's breast : 
Full of peace and sleep and dreams in the vasty quietude, 
I am one with their hearts at rest. 

From our immemorial joys of hearth and home and love 
Strayed away along the margin of the unknown tide, 
All its reach of soundless calm can thrill me far above 
Word or touch from the lips beside. 

Aye, and deep and deep and deeper let me drink and 

draw 
From the olden fountain more than light or peace or 

dream, 

Such primeval being as o'erfills the heart with awe, 
Growing one with its silent stream. 



"A. E." 91 

The Breath of Light. 

From the cool and dark-lipped furrows breathes a dim 

delight 
Through the woodland's purple plumage to the diamond 

night 

Aureoles of joy encircle every blade of grass 
Where the dew-fed creatures silent and enraptured pass : 
And the restless ploughman pauses, turns, and wondering 
Deep beneath his rustic habit finds himself a king ; 
For a fiery moment looking with the eyes of God 
Over fields a slave at morning bowed him to the sod. 
Blind and dense with revelation every moment flies, 
And unto the Mighty Mother, gay, eternal, rise 
All the hopes we hold, the gladness, dreams of things 

to be. 

One of all thy generations, Mother, hails to thee 1 
Hail ! and hail ! and hail for ever : though I turn again 
From thy joy unto the human vestiture of pain. 
I, thy child, who went forth radiant in the golden prime 
Find thee still the mother-hearted through my night in 

time; 

Find in thee the old enchantment, there behind the veil 
Where the Gods my brothers linger, Hail! for ever, 

Hail! 



92 WILLIAM ALLINGHAM 
JEolian Harp. 

O pale green sea, 

With long pale purple clouds above 

What lies in me like weight of love? 

What dies in me 

With utter grief, because there comes no sign 

Through the sun-raying West, or the dim sea-line? 

O salted air, 

Blown round the rocky headlands chill 

What calls me there from cove and hill? 

What calls me fair 

From Thee, the first-born of the youthful night? 

Or in the waves is coming through the dusk twilight? 

O yellow Star, 

Quivering upon the rippling tide 

Sendest so far to one that sigh'd? 

Bendest thou, Star, 

Above where shadows of the dead have rest 

And constant silence, with a message from the blest? 



WILLIAM ALLINGHAM 93 
The Fairies. 

Up the airy mountain, 

Down the rushy glen, 
We daren't go a-hunting 

For fear of little men ; 
Wee folk, good folk, 

Trooping all together ; 
Green jacket, red cap, 

And white owl's feather ! 

Down along the rocky shore 

Some make their home, 
They live on crispy pancakes 

Of yellow tide-foam ; 
Some in the reeds 

Of the black mountain lake, 
With frogs for their watch-dogs, 

All night awake. 

High on the hill-top 

The old king sits ; 
He is now so old and gray 

He's nigh lost his wits. 
With a bridge of white mist 

Columbkill he crosses, 
On his stately journeys 

From Slieveleague to Rosses ; 
Or going up with music 

On cold starry nights, 
To sup with the Queen 

Of the gay Northern Lights. 

They stole little Bridget 

For seven years long ; 
When she came down again 

Her friends were all gone. 



94 LYRA CELTICA 

They took her lightly back, 

Between the night and morrow, 
They thought that she was fast asleep, 

But she was dead with sorrow. 
They have kept her ever since 

Deep within the lake, 
On a bed of flag-leaves, 

Watching till she wake. 

By the craggy hill-side, 

Through the mosses bare, 
They have planted thorn-trees 

For pleasure here and there. 
Is any man so daring 

As dig up them in spite, 
He shall find their sharpest thorns 

In his bed at night. 

Up the airy mountain, 

Down the rushy glen, 
We daren't go a-hunting 

For fear of little men ; 
Wee folk, good folk, 

Trouping all together ; 
Green jacket, red cap, 

And white owl's feather. 



THOMAS BOYD 95 

To the Lianhaun Shee. 

Where is thy lovely perilous abode? 

In what strange phantom-land 
Glimmer the fairy turrets whereto rode 

The ill-starred poet band? 

Say, in the Isle of Youth hast thou thy home, 

The sweetest singer there, 
Stealing on winged steed across the foam 

Thorough the moonlit air? 

And by the gloomy peaks of Erigal, 

Haunted by storm and cloud, 
Wing past, and to thy lover there let fall 

His singing robe and shroud? 

Or, where the mists of bluebell float beneath 

The red stems of the pine, 
And sunbeams strike thro' shadow, dost thou breathe 

The word that makes him thine? 

Or, is thy palace entered thro' some cliff 

When radiant tides are full, 
And round thy lover's wandering starlit skiff 

Coil in luxurious lull? 
And would he, entering on the brimming flood, 

See caverns vast in height, 
And diamond columns, crowned with leaf and bud, 

Glow in long lanes of light 

And there the pearl of that great glittering shell 

Trembling, behold thee lone, 
Now weaving in slow dance an awful spell, 

Now still upon thy throne? 

Thy beauty ! ah, the eyes that pierce him thro' 

Then melt as in a dream ; 
The voice that sings the mysteries of the blue 

And all that Be and Seem ! 



96 LYRA CELTICA 

Thy lovely motions answering to the rhyme 

That ancient Nature sings, 
That keeps the stars in cadence for all time, 

And echoes through all things! 

Whether he sees thee thus, or in his dreams, 
Thy light makes all lights dim ; 

An aching solitude from henceforth seems 
The world of men to him. 

Thy luring song, above the sensuous roar, 

He follows with delight, 
Shutting behind him Life's last gloomy door, 

And fares into the Night 



EMILY BRONTE 97 

Remembrance. 

Cold in the earth and the deep snow piled above thee, 
Far, far removed, cold in the dreary grave 1 

Have I forgot, my only Love, to love thee, 
Severed at last by Time's all-severing wave? 

Now, when alone, my thoughts no longer hover 
Over the mountains, on that northern shore, 

Resting their wings where heath and fern-leaves cover 
Thy noble heart for ever, ever more. 

Cold in the earth and fifteen wild Decembers, 
From these brown hills, have melted into Spring ! 

Faithful, indeed, is the spirit that remembers 
After such years of change and suffering ! 

Sweet Love of youth, forgive, if I forget thee, 
While the world's tide is bearing me along ; 

Other desires and other hopes beset me, 
Hopes which obscure, but cannot do thee wrong. 

No later light has lighted up my heaven, 
No second morn has ever shone for me ; 

All my life's bliss from thy dear life was given, 
All my life's bliss is in the grave with thee. 

But, when the days of golden dreams had perished, 
And even despair was powerless to destroy ; 

Then did I learn how existence could be cherished, 
Strengthened, and fed without the aid of joy. 

Then did I check the tears of useless passion 
Weaned my young soul from yearning after thine ; 

Sternly denied its burning wish to hasten 
Down to that tomb already more than mine. 

And, even yet, I dare not let it languish, 
Dare not indulge in memory's rapturous pain ; 

Once drinking deep of that divinest anguish, 
How could I seek the empty world again ? 



98 STOPFORD A. BROOKE 
The Earth and Man. 

A little sun, a little rain, 

A soft wind blowing from the west 
And woods and fields are sweet again, 

And warmth within the mountain's breast. 

So simple is the earth we tread, 
So quick with love and life her frame, 

Ten thousand years have dawned and fled, 
And still her magic is the same. 

A little love, a little trust, 
A soft impulse, a sudden dream 

And life as dry as desert dust 
Is fresher than a mountain stream. 

So simple is the heart of man 
So ready for new hope and joy ; 

Ten thousand years since it began 
Have left it younger than a boy. 



STOPFORD A. BROOKE 99 

Song. 

(From "Six Days.") 

Come, where on the moorland steep 
Silent sunlight dreams of sleep, 
And in this high morning air 
Love me, my companion fair I 
All the clouds that high in Heaven 
Rest and rove from morn to even, 
All the beauty that doth live 
By the winds to thee I give. 

See below deep meadow lands, 
Misty moors and shining sands, 
And blue hills so far and dim 
They melt on the horizon's rim. 
O how fresh the air, and sweet, 
And with what a footfall fleet 
O'er the grasses' ebb and flow 
The light winds to the eastward go. 

Noon is now with us. Farewell 
To this mountain citadel. 
Come, and with your footing fine 
Thread the scented paths of pine, 
Till we see the Druid earn 
Shadowed in the haunted tarn. 
There the water blue and deep 
Lies, like wearied thought, asleep. 

While we watch, the storm awakes ; 
Flash on flash the ripple breaks, 
Purple, with a snow-white crest, 
On the meadow's golden breast. 
Roods of tinkling sedge are kissed 
By the waves of amethyst : 
Trouble knows the place, they say, 
But we laugh at that to-day. 



100 LYRA CELTICA 

Onward to the glen below ; 
Every nook and turn we know 
Where the passion-haunted stream 
Laughs and lingers in its dream, 
Making where its pebbles shine 
Naiad music, clear and fine, 
But not sweeter than the song 
Love sings as we rove along. 

At the last the grassy seat, 
Where of old we used to meet, 
Holds us in its close embrace. 
Hallowed ever be the place ! 
Here we kissed our hearts away 
In a lovers' holiday ! 
Shall I dream a greater bliss 
Than the memory of this ? 



JOHN K. CASEY 101 

Maire, my Girl. 

Over the dim blue hills 

Strays a wild river, 
Over the dim blue hills 

Rests my heart ever. 
Dearer and brighter than 

Jewels and pearl, 
Dwells she in beauty there, 

Maire, my girl. 

Down upon Claris heath 

Shines the soft berry, 
On the brown harvest tree 

Droops the red cherry. 
Sweeter thy honey lips, 

Softer the curl 
Straying adown thy cheeks, 

Maire, my girl. 

'Twas on an April eve 

That I first met her; 
Many an eve shall pass 

Ere I forget her. 
Since, my young heart has been 

Wrapped in a whirl, 
Thinking and dreaming of 

Maire, my girl. 

She is too kind and fond 

Ever to grieve me, 
She has too pure a heart 

E'er to deceive me. 
Were I Tryconnell's chief 

Or Desmond's earl, 
Life would be dark, wanting 

Maire, my girl ! 



102 LYRA CELTICA 

Over the dim blue hills 

Strays a wild river, 
Over the dim blue hills 

Rests my heart ever. 
Dearer and brighter than 

Jewels or pearl, 
Dwells she in beauty there, 

Maire, my girl. 



JOHN K. CASEY 103 

Grade Og Machree.* 
(Song of the "Wild Geese.") 

I placed the silver in her palm, 

By Inny's smiling tide, 
And vowed, ere summer time came on, 

To claim her as a bride. 
But when the summer time came on 

I dwelt beyond the sea ; 
Yet still my heart is ever true 

To Gracie Og Machree. 

O bonnie are the woods of Targ, 

And green thy hills, Rathmore, 
And soft the sunlight ever falls 

On Darre's sloping shore; 
And there the eyes I love in tears 

Shine ever mournfully, 
While I am far, and far away 

From Gracie Og Machree. 

When battle-steeds were neighing loud, 

With bright blades in the air, , 
Next to my inmost heart I wore 

A bright tress of her hair. 
When stirrup-cups were lifted up 

To lips, with soldier glee, 
One toast I always fondly pledged, 

'Twas Gracie Og Machree. 



* Gracie 6g mo-chridhe "Young Gracie, my 
heart." 



104 GEORGE DARLEY 

Dirge. 

(From "The Sea Bride.") 

Prayer unsaid, and mass unsung, 
Deadman's dirge must still be rung : 
Dingle-dong, the dead-bells sound I 
Mermen chant his dirge around I 

Wash him bloodless, smooth him fair, 
Stretch his limbs, and sleek his hair : 
Dingle-dong, the dead-bells gol 
Mermen swing them to and fro ! 

In the wormless sand shall he 
Feast for no foul glutton be : 

Dingle-dong, the dead-bells chime ! 

Mermen keep the tone and time ! 

We must with a tombstone brave 
Shut the shark out from his grave : 

Dingle-dong, the dead-bells toll ! 

Mermen dirgers ring his knoll ! 

Such a slab will we lay o'er him 
All the dead shall rise before him! 
* Dingle-dong, the dead-bells boom ! 
Mermen lay him in his tomb ! 



AUBREY DE VERE 105 
The Little Black Rose. 

The Little Black Rose shall be red at last ; 

What made it black but the March wind dry, 
And the tear of the widow that fell on it fast ? 

It shall redden the hills when June is nigh. 

The Silk of the Kine shall rest at last ; 

What drove her forth but the dragon-fly? 
In the golden vale she shall feed full fast, 

With her mild gold horn and slow, dark eye. 

The wounded wood-dove lies dead at last ! 

The pine long bleeding, it shall not die ! 
This song is secret Mine ear it passed 

In a wind o'er the plains at Athenry. 



106 AUBREY DE VERE 
Epitaph. 

He roamed half round the world of woe, 
Where toil and labour never cease; 

Then dropped one little span below 
In search of peace. 

And now to him mild beams and showers, 
All that he needs to grace his tomb, 

From loneliest regions at all hours, 
Unsought for come. 



FRANCIS FAHY 107 

Killiney Far Away. 

To Killiney far away flies my fond heart night and day, 
To ramble light and happy through its fields and dells ; 

For here life smiles in vain, and earth 's a land of pain, 
While all that's bright in Erin in Killiney dwells. 

In Killiney in the West has a linnet sweet her nest, 
And her song makes all the wild birds in the green 
wood dumb ; 

To the captive without cheer, it were freedom but to hear 
Such sorrow-soothing music from her fair throat come. 

In Killiney's bower blows a blushing, budding rose, 
With perfume of the rarest that the June day yields ; 

And none who pass the way, but sighing wish that they 
Might cull that fragrant flower of the dewy fields. 

Through Killiney's meadows pass, on their way to early 
Mass, 

Like twin-stars 'mid the grass, two small feet bare; 
And angel-pure the heart, where the murmured Aves start 

On their winged way to Heaven from the chapel there. 

And the pride of Irish girls is the dear brown head of 

curls, 

The pearl white of pearls, stoirin ban mo chridhe; 
As bright-browed as the dawn, and as meek-eyed as the 

fawn, 
And as graceful as the swan gliding on to sea. 

Not for jewels nor for gold, nor for hoarded wealth 
untold, 

Not for all that mortals hold most desired and dear, 
Would I my share forego in the loving heart aglow, 

That beats beneath the snow of her bosom fair. 



108 LYRA CELTICA 

Soon Killiney will you weep for I know not rest nor 

sleep, 

Till swiftly o'er the deep I with white sails come, 
To win the linnet sweet, and the two white twinkling 

feet, 

And the heart with true love beating, to my far-off 
home. 

And O ! farewell to care, when the rose of perfume rare, 
And the dear brown curling hair on my proud breast lie ; 

Then Killiney far away, never more by night or day, 
To thy skies, or dark or grey, shall my fond heart fly. 



SIR SAMUEL FERGUSON 109 
Cean Dubh Deelish.* 

Put your head, darling, darling, darling, 
Your darling black head my heart above ; 

Oh, mouth of honey, with thyme for fragrance, 
Who, with heart in breast, could deny you love? 

Oh, many and many a young girl for me is pining, 
Letting her locks of gold to the cold wind free, 

For me, the foremost of our gay young fellows ; 
But I "d leave a hundred, pure love, for thee I 

Then put your head, darling, darling, darling, 
Your darling black head my heart above ; 

Oh, mouth of honey, with thyme for fragrance, 
Who, with heart in breast, could deny you love? 



* Pron. Cawn dhu dee-lish i.e. "darling black 
head." 



no LYRA CELTICA 

Molly Asthore. 

O Mary dear! O Mary fair! 

branch of generous stem ! 
White blossom of the banks of Nair, 

Though lilies grow on them ; 
You've left me sick at heart for love, 

So faint I cannot see ; 
The candle swims the board above, 

1 'm drunk for love of thee I 

stately stem of maiden pride, 
My woe it is and pain 

That I thus severed from thy side 
The long night must remain. 

Through all the towns of Innisfail 

I Ve wandered far and wide, 
But from Downpatrick to Kinsale, 

From Carlow to Kilbride, 
Many lords and dames of high degree 

Where'er my feet have gone, 
My Mary, one to equal thee 

I never looked upon: 

1 live in darkness and in doubt 
When'er my love 's away ; 

But were the gracious sun put out, 
Her shadow would make day. 

'Tis she, indeed, young bud of bliss, 

As gentle as she's fair. 
Though lily-white her bosom is, 

And sunny bright her hair, 
And dewy azure her blue eye, 

And rosy red her cheek, 
Yet brighter she in modesty, 

Most beautifully meek : 



SIR SAMUEL FERGUSON in 

The world's wise men from north to south 

Can never cure my pain ; 
But one kiss from her honey mouth 

Would make me well again. 



112 LYRA CELTICA 

The Fair Hills of Ireland. 

(From the Irish.) 

A plenteous place is Ireland for hospitable cheer, 

Uileacan dubh O 1 
Where the wholesome fruit is bursting from the yellow 

barley ear; 

Uileacan dubh O ! 
There is honey in the trees where her misty vales 

expand, 
And her forest paths in summer are by falling waters 

fanned ; 
There is dew at high noontide there, and springs i' the 

yellow sand, 
On the fair hills of holy Ireland. 

Curled is he and ringleted, and plaited to the knee, 

Uileacan dubh O! 
Each captain who comes sailing across the Irish Sea ; 

Uileacan dubh O! 

And I will make my journey, if life and health but stand, 
Unto that pleasant country, that fresh and fragrant 

strand, 
And leave your boasted braveries, your wealth and high 

command, 
For the fair hills of holy Ireland. 

Large and profitable are the stacks upon the ground ; 

Uileacan dubh O! 
The butter and the cream do wondrously abound, 

Uileacan dubh Ol 

The cresses on the water and the sorrels are at hand, 
And the cuckoo 's calling daily his note of music bland, 
And the bold thrush sings so bravely his song i' the 

forest grand, 
On the fair hills of holy Ireland. 



ALFRED PERCIVAL GRAVES 113 
Herring is King. 

Let all the fish that swim the sea, 

Salmon and turbot, cod and ling, 
Bow down the head and bend the knee 

To herring, their king ! to herring, their king ! 

Sing, Hugamar fein an sowra lin', 
'Tis we have brought the summer in.* 

The sun sank down so round and red 

Upon the bay, upon the bay; 
The sails shook idly overhead, 

Becalmed we lay, becalmed we lay ; 

Sing, Hugamar, etc. 

Till Shawn the eagle dropped on deck, 
The bright-eyed boy, the bright-eyed boy; 

'Tis he has spied your silver track, 
Herring, our joy, herring, our joy ; 

Sing, Hugamar, etc. 

It is in with the sails and away to shore, 
With the rise and swing, the rise and swing 

Of two stout lads at each smoking oar, 
After herring, our king 1 herring, our king. 

Sing, Hugamar, etc. 

The Manx and Cornish raised the shout, 
And joined the chase, and joined the chase ; 

But their fleets they fouled as they went about, 
And we won the race, we won the race ; 

Sing, Hugamar, etc. 



The second line to the refrain translates the first. 
H 



114 LYRA CELTICA 

For we turned and faced you full to land, 
Down the g61een* long, the g61een long, 

And after you slipped from strand to strand 
Our nets so strong, our nets so strong ; 

Sing, Hugamar, etc. 

Then we called to our sweethearts and our wives, 
"Come welcome us home, welcome us home," 
Till they ran to meet us for their lives 
Into the foam, into the foam ; 

Sing, Hugamar, etc. 

O kissing of hands and waving of caps 
From girl and boy, from girl and boy, 

While you leapt by scores in the lasses' laps, 
Herring our joy, herring our joy 1 

Sing, Hugamar fein an sowra lin", 
'Tis we have brought the summer in ! 

* Creek. 



ALFRED PERCIVAL GRAVES 115 
The Rose of Kenmare. 

I 've been soft in a small way 

On the girleens of Galway, 
And the Limerick lasses have made me feel quare ; 

But there 's no use denyin", 

No girl I 've set eye on 
Could compate wid Rose Ryan of the town of Kenmare. 

O, where 
Can her like be found? 

No where, 
The country round, 
Spins at her wheel 

Daughter as true, 
Sets in the reel, 

Wid a slide of the shoe 
a slinderer, 
tinderer, 
purtier, 

wittier colleen than you, 
Rose, aroo ! 

Her hair mocks the sunshine, 

And the soft, silver moonshine 
Neck and arm of the colleen completely eclipse ; 

Whilst the nose of the jewel 

Slants straight as Carran Tual 
From the heaven in her eye to her heather-sweet lip. 

O, where, etc. 

Did your eyes ever follow 

The wings of the swallow 
Here and there, light as air, o'er the meadow field glance ? 

For if not you 've no notion 

Of the exquisite motion 
Of her sweet little feet as they dart in the dance. 

O, where, etc. 



n6 LYRA CELTICA 

If y' inquire why the nightingale 

Still shuns th' invitin' gale 
That wafts every song-bird but her to the West, 

Faix she knows, I suppose, 

Ould Kenmare has a Rose 
That would sing any Bulbul to sleep in her nest. 

O, where, etc. 

When her voice gives the warnin' 

For the milkin' in the mornin' 

Ev'n the cow known for hornin', comes runnin' to her 
pail; 

The lambs play about her 

And the small bonneens* snout her 
Whilst their parints salute her wid a twisht of the tail. 

O, where, etc. 

When at noon from our labour 
We draw neighbour wid neighbour 

From the heat of the sun to the shelter of the tree, 
Wid spudsf fresh from the bilin', 
And new milk, you come smilin', 

All the boys' hearts beguilin', alannah machreeln 

O, where, etc. 

But there's one sweeter hour 

When the hot day is o'er, 
And we rest at the door wid the bright moon above, 

And she's sittin' in the middle, 

When she's guessed Larry's riddle, 
Cries, "Now for your fiddle, Shiel Dhuv, Shiel Dhuv." 



* Piglings. 
t Potatoes. 
My heart's delight 



ALFRED PERCIVAL GRAVES 117 

O, where 
Can her like be found? 

No where, 
The country round, 
Spins at her wheel 

Daughter as true, 
Sets in the reel, 

Wid a slide of the shoe 
a slinderer, 
tinderer, 
purtier, 

wittier colleen than you, 
Rose, aroo ! 



n8 LYRA CELTICA 

The Song of the Pratee. 

When after the Winter alarmin', 
The Spring steps in so charmin', 

So fresh and arch 

In the middle of March, 
Wid her hand St Patrick's arm on, 
Let us all, let us all be goin', 
Agra, to assist at your sowin', 

The girls to spread 

Your iligant bed, 
And the boys to set the hoe in. 



Chorus- 
Then good speed to your seed ! God's grace and increase. 

Never more in our need may you blacken wid the blight ; 
But when summer is o'er, in our gardens, asthore, 

May the fruit at your root fill our bosoms wid delight. 

So rest and sleep, my jewel, 
Safe from the tempest cruel ; 

Till violets spring 

And skylarks sing 
From Mourne to Carran Tual. 
Then wake and build your bower, 
Through April sun and shower, 

To bless the earth 

That gave you birth, 
Through many a sultry hour. 

Chorus- 
Then good luck to your leaf. And ochone, ologone, 

Never more to our grief may it blacken wid the blight; 
But when summer is o'er, in our gardens, asthore, 

May the fruit at your root fill our bosoms wid delight. 



ALFRED PERCIVAL GRAVES 119 

Thus smile with glad increasing 
Till to St John we 're raisin', 

Through Erin's isle 

The pleasant pile 
That sets the bonfire blazin'. 
O 'tis then that the midsummer fairy, 
Abroad on his sly vagary, 

Wid purple and white, 

As he passes by night, 
Your emerald leaf shall vary. 

Chorus 
Then more power to your flower, and your merry green 

leaf! 
Never more to our grief may they blacken wid the 

blight ; 

But when summer is o'er, in our gardens, asthore, 
May the fruit at your root fill our bosoms wid delight 

And once again Mavourneen, 
Some yellow autumn mornin', 

At red sunrise 

Both girls and boys 
To your garden ridge we're turnin', 
Then under your foliage fadin' 
Each man of us sets his spade in, 

While the colleen bawn 

Her brown kishane* 
Full up wid your fruit is ladin'. 

Chorus 

Then good luck to your leaf 1 more power to your flower! 
Never more to our grief may they blacken wid the 

blight ; 

But when summer is o'er, in our gardens, asthore, 
May the fruit at your root fill our bosoms wid delight 



A large basket carried on the back. 



120 ALFRED PERCIVAL GRAVES 
Irish Lullaby. 

I 'd rock my own sweet childie to rest in a cradle of 

gold on a bough of the willow, 

To the shoheen ho of the wind of the west and the 
lulla lo of the soft sea billow. 
Sleep, baby dear, 
Sleep without fear, 
Mother is here beside your pillow. 

I 'd put my own sweet childie to sleep in a silver boat 

on the beautiful river, 

Where a shoheen whisper the white cascades, and a 
lulla lo the green flags shiver. 
Sleep, baby dear, 
Sleep without fear, 
Mother is here with you for ever. 

Lulla lol to the rise and fall of mother's bosom 'tis 

sleep has bound you, 

And O, my child, what cosier nest for rosier rest could 
love have found you? 

Sleep, baby dear, 
Sleep without fear, 
Mother's two arms are clasped around you. 



GERALD GRIFFIN 121 
Eileen Aroon. 

When, like the early rose, 

Eileen Aroon ! 
Beauty in childhood blows, 

Eileen Aroon I 
When, like a diadem, 
Buds blush around the stem, 
Which is the fairest gem? 

Eileen Aroon! 

Is it the laughing eye, 

Eileen Aroon ! 
Is it the timid sigh, 

Eileen Aroon! 
Is it the tender tone, 
Soft as the stringed harp's moan? 
Oh ! it is truth alone, 

Eileen Aroon ! 

When, like the rising day, 
Eileen Aroon I 

Love sends his early ray, 

Eileen Aroon! 

What makes his dawning glow, 

Changeless through joy or woe ? 

Only the constant know- 
Eileen Aroon ! 

I know a valley fair, 

Eileen Aroon ! 
I knew a cottage there, 

Eileen Aroon ! 
Far in that valley's shade 
I knew a gentle maid, 
Flower of a hazel glade, 

Eileen Aroon ! 



122 LYRA CELTICA 

Who in the song so sweet? 

Eileen Aroon! 
Who in the dance so fleet? 

Eileen Aroon ! 

Dear were her charms to me, 
Dearer her laughter free, 
Dearest her constancy, 

Eileen Aroon ! 

Were she no longer true, 

Eileen Aroon I 
What should her lover do? 
Eileen Aroon ! 
Fly with his broken chain 
Far o'er the sounding main, 
Never to love again, 

Eileen Aroon ! 

Youth must with time decay, 
Eileen Aroon ! 
Beauty must fade away, 

Eileen Aroon ! 
Castles are sacked in war, 
Chieftains are scattered far, 
Truth is a fixed star, 

Eileen Aroon! 



NORA HOPPER 123 

The Dark Man. 

Rose o' the world, she came to my bed 

And changed the dreams of my heart and head : 

For joy of mine she left grief of hers 

And garlanded me with the prickly furze. 

Rose o' the world, they go out and in, 
And watch me dream and my mother spin : 
And they pity the tears on my sleeping face 
While my soul 's away in a fairy place. 

Rose o' the world, they have words galore, 
For wide 's the swing of my mother's door : 
And soft they speak of my darkened brain, 
But what do they know of my heart's dear pain? 

Rose o' the world, the grief you give 
Is worth all days that a man may live: 
Is worth all prayers that the colleens say 
On the night that darkens the wedding-day. 

Rose o' the world, what man would wed 
When he might remember your face instead? 
Might go to his grave with the blessed pain 
Of hungering after your face again ? 

Rose o' the world, they may talk their fill, 
But dreams are good, and my life stands still 
While the neighbours talk by their fires astir: 
But my fiddle knows : and / talk to her. 



124 LYRA CELTICA 

April in Ireland. 

She hath a woven garland all of the sighing sedge, 
And all her flowers are snowdrops grown on the winter's 

edge: 
The golden looms of Tir na n' Og wove all the winter 

through 
Her gown of mist and raindrops shot with a cloudy blue. 

Sunlight she holds in one hand, and rain she scatters 

after, 

And through the rainy twilight we hear her fitful laughter. 
She shakes down on her flowers the snows less white 

than they, 
Then quicken with her kisses the folded "knots o' May." 

She seeks the summer-lover that never shall be hers, 
Fain for gold leaves of autumn she passes by the furze, 
Though buried gold it hideth : she scorns her sedgy crown, 
And pressing blindly sunwards she treads her snowdrops 
down. 

Her gifts are all a fardel of wayward smiles and tears, 
Yet hope she also holdeth, this daughter of the years 
A hope that blossoms faintly set upon sorrow's edge : 
She hath a woven garland of all the sighing sedge. 



NORA HOPPER 125 

The Wind Among the Reeds. 

Mavrone, Mavrone ! the wind among the reeds. 

It calls and cries, and will not let me be ; 
And all its cry is of forgotten deeds 

When men were loved of all the Daoine-Sidhe. 

O Shee that have forgotten how to love, 
And Shee that have forgotten how to hate, 

Asleep 'neath quicken boughs that no winds move, 
Come back to us ere yet it be too late. 

Pipe to us once again, lest we forget 
What piping means, till all the Silver Spears 

Be wild with gusty music, such as met 
Carolan once, amid the dusty years. 

Dance in your rings again : the yellow weeds 

You used to ride so far, mount as of old- 
Play hide-and-seek with wind among the reeds, 
And pay your scores again with fairy gold. 



126 DOUGLAS HYDE 

My Grief on the Sea. 

My grief on the sea, 
How the waves of it roll ! 

For they heave between me 
And the love of my soul ! 

Abandoned, forsaken, 
To grief and to care, 

Will the sea ever waken 
Relief from despair? 

My grief, and my trouble 1 
Would he and I wear, 

In the province of Leinster, 
Or County of Clare. 

Were I and my darling 
O, heart-bitter wound ! 

On the board of the ship 
For America bound. 

On a green bed of rushes 
All last night I lay, 

And I flung it abroad 
With the heat of the day. 

And my love came behind me 
He came from the South ; 

His breast to my bosom 
His mouth to my mouth. 



DOUGLAS HYDE 127 

The Cooleen. 

A honey mist on a day of frost, in a dark oak wood, 
And love for thee in my heart in me, thou bright, white, 

and good ; 

Thy slender form, soft and warm, thy red lips apart, 
Thou hast found me, and hast bound me, and put grief 

in my heart. 

In fair-green and market, men mark thee, bright, young, 

and merry, 
Though thou hurt them like foes with the rose of thy 

blush of the berry : 

Her cheeks are a poppy, her eye it is Cupid's helper, 
But each foolish man dreams that its beams for himself are. 

Whoe'er saw the Cooleen in a cool, dewy meadow 
On a morning in summer in sunshine and shadow ; 
All the young men go wild for her, my childeen, my 

treasure, 
But now let them go mope, they've no hope to possess 

her. 

Let us roam, O my darling, afar through the mountains, 
Drink milk of the goat, wine and bulcaun in fountains ; 
With music and play every day from my lyre, 
And leave to come rest on my breast when you tire. 



128 LYRA CELTICA 

The Breedyeen. 

Tis the Breedyeen I love, 

All dear ones above, 

Like a star from the start 
Round my heart she did move. 

Her breast like a dove, 

Or the foam in the cove, 

With her gold locks apart, 
In my heart she put love. 

'Tis not Venus, I say, 

Who grieved me this day, 

But the white one, the bright one, 
Who slighted my stay. 

For her I shall pray 

I confess it for aye, 

She's my sister, I missed her, 
When all men were gay. 

To the hills let us go, 

Where the raven and crow 
In dark dismal valleys 
Croak death-like and low ; 

By this volume I swear, 

O bright Cool of fair hair, 

That though solitude shrieked 
I should seek for thee there. 

To the hills let us go, 
Where the raven and crow 

In the dark dismal valleys 

Wing silent and slow. 
There's no Joy in men's fate 
But Grief grins in the gate ; 

There 's no Fair without Foul, 

Without Crooked no Straight. 



DOUGLAS HYDE 129 

Her neck like the lime 

And her breath like the thyme, 

And her bosom untroubled 

By care or by time. 
Like a bird in the night, 
At a great blaze of light, 

Astounded and wounded 

I swoon at her sight. 

Since I gave thee my love, 
I gave thee my love, 
I gave thee my love, 

thou berry so bright ; 
The sun in her height 
Looked on with delight, 

And between thy two arms, may 

1 die on the night. 

And I would that I were 
In the glens of the air, 

Or in dark dismal valleys 

Where the wildwood is bare, 
What a kiss from her there 
I should coax without care, 

From my star of the morning, 

My fairer than fair! 

Like a Phoenix of flame, 
Or like Helen of fame, 

Is the pearl of all pearls 

Of girls who came, 
And who kindled a flame, 
In my bosom. Thy name 

I shall rhyme thee in Irish 

And heighten thy fame. 



I 3 LYRA CELTICA 

Nelly of the Top- Knots. 

Dear God 1 were I fisher and 

Back in Binedar, 
And Nelly a fish who 

Would swim in the bay there, 
I would privately set there 

My net there to catch her, 
In Erin no maiden 

Is able to match her. 

And Nelly, dear God! 

Why ! you should not thus flee me, 
I long to be near thee 

And hear thee and see thee, 
My hand on the Bible 

And I swearing and kneeling 
And giving thee part 

Of the heart you are stealing. 

I 've a fair yellow casket 

And it fastened with crystal, 
And the lock opens not 

To the shot of a pistol. 
To Jesus I pray 

And to Columbkill's Master, 
That Mary may guide thee 

Aside from disaster. 

We may be, O maiden 

Whom none may disparage, 
Some morning a-hearing 

The sweet mass of marriage, 
But if fate be against us, 

To rend us and push us, 
I shall mourn as the blackbird 

At eve in the bushes. 



DOUGLAS HYDE 131 

God, were she with me 
Where the gull flits and tern, 

Or in Paris the smiling-, 
Or an Isle in Loch Erne, 

1 would coax her so well, 

I would tell her my story, 
And talk till I won her, 
My sunshine of glory. 



132 DOUGLAS HYDE 

I shall not Die for Thee. 

For thee I shall not die, 
Woman high of fame and name ; 

Foolish men thou mayest slay 
I and they are not the same. 

Why should I expire 

For the fire of any eye, 
Slender waist or swan-like limb, 

Is't for them that I should die? 

The round breasts, the fresh skin, 
Cheeks crimson, hair so long and rich ; 

Indeed, indeed, I shall not die, 
Please God, not I, for any such. 

The golden hair, the forehead thin, 
The chaste mien, the gracious ease, 

The rounded heel, the languid tone, 
Fools alone find death from these. 

Thy sharp wit, thy perfect calm, 
Thy thin palm like foam o' the sea ; 

Thy white neck, thy blue eye, 
I shall not die for thee. 

Woman, graceful as the swan, 
A wise man did nurture me, 

Little palm, white neck, bright eye, 
I shall not die for ye. 



LIONEL JOHNSON 133 
The Red Wind. 

Red Wind from out the East : 

Red Wind of blight and blood ! 
Ah, when wilt thou have ceased 

Thy bitter, stormy flood? 

Red Wind from over sea, 

Scourging our holy land ! 
What angel loosened thee 

Out of his iron hand ? 

Red Wind ! whose word of might 
Winged thee with wings of flame? 

O fire of mournful night ! 
What is thy Master's name? 

Red Wind ! who bade thee burn, 
Branding our hearts? Who bade 

Thee on and never turn 
Till waste our souls were laid? 

Red Wind ! from out the West 

Pour Winds of Paradise : 
Winds of eternal rest, 

That weary souls entice. 

Wind of the East ! Red Wind ! 

Thou scorchest the soft breath 
Of Paradise the kind : 

Red Wind of burning death 1 

O Red Wind! hear God's voice: 

Hear thou, and fall, and cease. 
Let Innisfail rejoice 

In her Hesperian peace. 



134 LIONEL JOHNSON 
To Morfydd. 

A voice on the winds, 
A voice on the waters, 
Wanders and cries : 

what are the winds ? 
And what are the waters ? 
Mine are your eyes. 

Western the winds are, 
And western the waters, 
Where the light lies : 

what are the winds ? 
And what are the waters ? 
Mine are your eyes. 

Cold, cold grow the winds, 

And dark grow the waters, 

Where the sun dies : 

what are the winds ? 
And what are the waters ? 
Mine are your eyes. 

And down the night winds, 
And down the night waters 
The music flies : 

what are the winds ? 
And what are the waters ? 
Cold be the winds, 
And wild be the waters, 
So mine be your eyes. 



DENIS FLORENCE MACCARTHY 135 
A Lament. 

Youth's bright palace 
Is overthrown, 
With its diamond sceptre 
And golden throne ; 
As a time-worn stone 
Its turrets are humbled, 
All hath crumbled 
But grief alone ! 

Whither, oh 1 whither 

Have fled away 

The dreams and hopes 

Of my early day? 

Ruined and grey 

Are the towers I builded ; 

And the beams that gilded 

Ah ! where are they ? 

Once this world 
Was fresh and bright, 
With its golden noon 
And its starry night ; 
Glad and light, 
By mountain and river, 
Have I blessed the Giver 
With hushed delight. 



Youth's illusions, 
One by one, 

Have passed like clouds 
That the sun looked on. 
While morning shone, 
How purple their fringes ! 
How ashy their tinges 
When that was gone ! 



136 LYRA CELTICA 

As fire-flies fade 
When the nights are damp- 
As meteors are quenched 
In a stagnant swamp- 
Thus Charlemagne's camp, 
Where the Paladins rally, 
And the Diamond Valley, 
And the Wonderful Lamp, 

And all the wonders 
Of Ganges and Nile, 
And Haroun's rambles, 
And Crusoe's isle, 
And Princes who smile 
On the Genii's daughters 
'Neath the Orient waters 
Full many a mile, 

And all that the pen 
Of Fancy can write, 
Must vanish 

In manhood's misty light- 
Squire and Knight, 
And damosels' glances, 
Sunny romances 
So pure and bright 1 

These have vanished, 
And what remains? 
Life's budding garlands 
Have turned to chains- 
Its beams and rains 
Feed but docks and thistles, 
And sorrow whistles 
O'er desert plains ! 



JAMES CLARENCE MANGAN 137 
The Fair Hills of Eire, O ! 

(After the Irish of DONOGH MAC CON-MARA.) 

Take a blessing from my heart to the land of my birth, 

And the fair Hills of Eire, O 1 
And to all that yet survive of Eibhear's tribe on earth, 

On the fair Hills of Eire, O ! 
In that land so delightful the wild thrush's lay- 
Seems to pour a lament forth for Eire's delay 
Alas ! alas ! why pine I a thousand miles away 
From the fair Hills of Eire", O ! 

The soil is rich and soft the air is mild and bland, 

Of the fair Hills of Eire, O I 
Her barest rock is greener to me than this rude land 

O ! the fair Hills of Eire, O ! 

Her woods are tall and straight, grove rising over grove ; 
Trees flourish in her glens below, and on her heights 

above ; 
O, in heart and in soul, I shall ever, ever love 

The fair Hills of Eire, O ! 

A noble tribe, moreover, are the now hapless Gael, 

On the fair Hills of Eire, O ! 
A tribe in Battle's hour unused to shrink or fail 

On the fair Hills of Eir6, O ! 
For this is my lament in bitterness outpoured, 
To see them slain or scattered by the Saxon sword. 
Oh, woe of woes, to see a foreign spoiler horde 

On the fair Hills of Eire", O 1 

Broad and tall rise the cruachs in the golden morning's 
glow 

On the fair Hills of Eire", O ! 

O'er her smooth grass for ever sweet cream and honey 
flow 

On the fair Hills of Eire, O ! 



138 LYRA CELTICA 

O, I long, I am pining, again to behold 
The land that belongs to the brave Gael of old ; 
Far dearer to my heart than a gift of gems or gold 
Are the fair Hills of Eire, O ! 

The dewdrops lie bright 'mid the grass and yellow corn 

On the fair Hills of Eire", O I 
And the sweet-scented apples blush redly in the morn 

On the fair Hills of Eire, O ! 
The water-cress and sorrel fill the vales below ; 
The streamlets are hushed, till the evening breezes blow ; 
While the waves of the Suir, noble river ! ever flow 

Near the fair Hills of Eire", O I 

A fruitful clime is Eir6's, through valley, meadow, plain, 

And the fair land of Eir, O ! 
The very "Bread of Life" is in the yellow grain 

On the fair Hills of Eire", O I 
Far dearer unto me than the tones music yields, 
Is the lowing of her kine and the calves in her fields, 
And the sunlight that shone long ago on the shields 

Of the Gaels, on the fair Hills of Eir6, O ! 



JAMES CLARENCE MANGAN 139 
Dark Rosaleen. 

O my dark Rosaleen, 

Do not sigh, do not weep ! 
The priests are on the ocean green, 

They march along the Deep. 
There 's wine .... from the royal Pope, 

Upon the ocean green ; 
And Spanish ale shall give you hope, 

My dark Rosaleen I 

My own Rosaleen ! 

Shall glad your heart, shall give you hope, 
Shall give you health, and help, and hope, 

My dark Rosaleen. 

Over hills, and through dales, 

Have I roamed for your sake ; 
All yesterday I sailed with sails 

On river and on lake. 
The Erne .... at its highest flood, 

I dashed across unseen, 
For there was lightning in my blood, 

My dark Rosaleen t 

My own Rosaleen ! 
Oh ! there was lightning in my blood, 
Red lightning lightened through my blood, 

My dark Rosaleen 1 

All day long in unrest, 

To and fro do I move, 
The very soul within my breast 

Is wasted for you, love ! 
The heart .... in my bosom faints 

To think of you my Queen, 
My life of life, my saint of saints, 

My dark Rosaleen ! 

My own Rosaleen ! 



140 LYRA CELTICA 

To hear your sweet and sad complaints, 
My life, my love, my saint of saints, 
My dark Rosaleen ! 

Woe and pain, pain and woe, 

Are my lot, night and noon, 
To see your bright face clouded so, 

Like to the mournful moon. 
But yet .... will I rear your throne 

Again in golden sheen ; 
'Tis you shall reign, shall reign alone, 

My dark Rosaleen I 

My own Rosaleen ! 
'Tis you shall have the golden throne, 
'Tis you shall reign, shall reign alone, 

My dark Rosaleen ! 

Over dews, over sands, 

Will I fly, for your weal : 
Your holy delicate white hands 

Shall girdle me with steel. 
At home .... in your emerald bowers, 

From morning's dawn till e'en, 
You '11 pray for me, my flower of flowers, 

My dark Rosaleen ! 

My fond Rosaleen ! 

You'll think of me through Daylight's hours, 
My virgin flower, my flower of flowers, 

My dark Rosaleen! 

I could scale the blue air, 

I could plough the high hills, 
Oh, I could kneel all night in prayer, 

To heal your many ills ! 
And one .... beamy smile from you 

Would float the light between 
My toils and me, my own, my true, 

My dark Rosaleen! 

My fond Rosaleen ! 



JAMES CLARENCE MANGAN 141 

Would give me life and soul anew, 
A second life, a soul anew, 
My dark Rosaleen 1 

O ! the Erne shall run red 

With redundance of blood, 
The earth shall rock beneath our tread, 

And flames wrap hill and wood, 
And gun-peal, and slogan cry, 

Wake many a glen serene, 
Ere you shall fade, ere you can die, 

My dark Rosaleen ! 

My own Rosaleen 1 

The Judgment Hour must first be nigh 
Ere you can fade, ere you can die, 

My dark Rosaleen ! 



142 LYRA CELTICA 

The One Mystery. 

'Tis idle ! we exhaust and squander 

The glittering mine of thought in vain 
All-baffled reason cannot wander, 

Beyond her chain. 

The flood of life runs dark dark clouds 
Make lampless night around its shore : 
The dead, where are they? In their shrouds- 
Man knows no more. 

Evoke the ancient and the past, 
Will one illumining star arise? 
Or must the film, from first to last, 
O'erspread thine eyes? 
When life, love, glory, beauty, wither, 

Will wisdom's page, or science chart, 
Map out for thee the region whither 
Their shades depart? 

Supposest thou the wondrous powers, 

To high imagination given, 
Pale types of what shall yet be ours, 

When earth is heaven? 
When this decaying shell is cold, 

Oh ! sayest thou the soul shall climb 
What magic mount she trod of old, 
Ere childhood's time? 

And shall the sacred pulse that thrilled, 

Thrill once again to glory's name? 
And shall the conquering love that filled 

All earth with flame, 
Re-born, revived, renewed, immortal, 
Resume his reign in prouder might, 
A sun beyond the ebon portal, 

Of death and night? 



JAMES CLARENCE MANGAN 143 

No more, no more with aching brow, 

And restless heart, and burning brain, 
We ask the When, the Where, the How, 

And ask in vain. 
And all philosophy, all faith, 

All earthly all celestial lore, 
Have but one voice, which only saith 
Endure adore ! 



144 ROSA MULHOLLAND 
The Wild Geese. 

I had no sail to cross the sea, 

A brave white bird went forth from me, 

My heart was hid beneath his wing : 

strong white bird, come back in spring ! 

1 watched the Wild Geese rise and cry 
Across the flaring western sky ; 

Their winnowing pinions clove the light, 
Then vanished, and came down the night. 

I laid me low, my day was done, 
I longed not for the morrow's sun, 
But closely swathed in swoon of sleep, 
Forgot to hope, forgot to weep. 

The moon, through veils of gloomy red, 
A warm yet dusky radiance shed 
All down our valley's golden stream 
And flushed my slumber with a dream. 

Her mystic torch lit up my brain ; 
My spirit rose and lived amain, 
And follow through the windy spray 
That bird upon its watery way. 

"O wild white bird, O wail for me I 
My soul hath wings to fly with thee : 
On foam waves, lengthening out afar, 
We '11 ride toward the western star. 

"O'er glimmering plains, through forest gloom, 
To track a wanderer's feet I come ; 
'Mid lonely swamp, by haunted brake, 
I '11 pass unfrighted for his sake. 

"Alone, afar, his footsteps roam, 
The stars his roof, the tent his home. 
Saw'st thou what way the Wild Geese flew 
To sunward through the thick night dew? 



ROSA MULHOLLAND 145 

"Carry my soul where he abides, 
And pierce the mystery that hides 
His presence, and through time and space 
Look with mine eyes upon his face." 

" Beside his prairie fire he rests, 
All feathered things are in their nests: 
'What strange wild bird is this,' he saith, 
'Still fragrant with the ocean's breath? 

" ' Perch on my hand, thou briny thing, 
And let me stroke thy shy wet wing ; 
What message in thy soft eye thrills? 
I see again my native hills 

"'And vale, the river's silver streak, 
The mist upon the blue, blue peak, 
The shadows grey, the golden sheaves, 
The mossy walls, the russet eaves. 

" ' I greet the friends I 've loved and lost, 
Do all forget? No, tempest-tost, 
That braved for me the ocean's foam, 
Some heart remembers me at home. 

" ' Ere spring's return I will be there, 
Thou strange sea-fragrant messenger ! 
I wake and weep ; the moon shines sweet, 
O dream too short ! O bird too fleet ! ' " 



146 RODEN NOEL 

Lament for a Little Child. 

I am lying in the tomb, love, 

Lying in the tomb, 

Tho' I move within the gloom, love, 

Breathe within the gloom I 

Men deem life not fled, dear, 

Deem my life not fled, 

Tho' I with thee am dead, dear, 

I with thee am dead, 

O my little child ! 

What is the grey world, darling, 

What is the grey world, 

Where the worm lies curled, darling, 

The death -worm lies curled? 

They tell me of the spring, dear ! 

Do I want the spring? 

Will she waft upon her wing, dear, 

The joy-pulse of her wing, 

Thy songs, thy blossoming, 

O my little child ! 

For the hallowing of thy smile,, love, 
The rainbow of thy smile, 
Gleaming for a while, love, 
Gleaming to beguile, 
Re-plunged me in the cold, dear, 
Leaves me in the cold, 
And I feel so very old, dear, 
Very, very old I 

Would they put me out of pain, dear, 
Out of all my pain, 
Since I may not live again, dear, 
Never live again J 



RODEN NOEL 147 

I am lying in the grave, love, 

In thy little grave, 

Yet I hear the wind rave, love, 

And the wild wave ! 

I would lie asleep, darling, 

With thee lie asleep, 

Unhearing the world weep, darling, 

Little children weep ! 

O my little child ! 



148 LYRA CELTICA 

The Swimmer. 

Yonder, lo ! the tide is flowing ; 
Clamber, while the breeze is blowing, 
Down to where a soft foam flusters 
Dulse and fairy feathery clusters ! 
While it fills the shelly hollows, 
A swift sister-billow follows, 
Leaps in hurrying with the tide, 
Seems the lingering wave to chide ; 
Both push on with eager life, 
And a gurgling show of strife. 
O the salt, refreshing air 
Shrilly blowing in the hair ! 
A keen, healthful savour haunts 
Sea-shell, sea-flower, and sea-plants. 
Innocent billows on the strand 
Leave a crystal over sand, 
Whose thin ebbing soon is crossed 
By a crystal foam-enmossed, 
Variegating silver-grey 
Shell-empetalled sand in play: 
When from sand dries off the brine, 
Vanishes swift shadow fine ; 
But a wet sand is a glass 
Where the plumy cloudlets pass, 
Floating islands of the blue, 
Tender, shining, fair, and true. 

Who would linger idle, 

Dallying would lie, 

When wind and wave, a bridal 

Celebrating, fly? 

Let him plunge among them, 

Who hath wooed enough, 

Flirted with them, sung them, 

In the salt sea-trough 



RODEN NOEL 149 

He may win them, onward 

On a buoyant crest, 

Far to seaward, sunward, 

Ocean-borne to rest ! 

Wild wind will sing over him, 

And the free foam cover him, 

Swimming seaward, sunward, 

On a blithe sea-breast ! 

On a blithe sea-bosom 

Swims another too, 

Swims a live sea-blossom, 

A grey-winged sea-mew ! 

Grape-green all the waves are, 

By whose hurrying line 

Half of ships and caves are 

Buried under brine ; 

Supple, shifting ranges 

Lucent at the crest, 

With pearly surface-changes 

Never laid to rest : 

Now a dipping gunwale 

Momently he sees, 

Now a fuming funnel, 

Or red flag in the breeze ; 

Arms flung open wide, 

Lip the laughing sea ; 

For playfellow, for bride, 

Claim her impetuously ! 

Triumphantly exult with all the free, 

Buoyant, bounding splendour of the sea 1 

And if while on the billow 

Wearily he lay, 

His awful wild playfellow 

Filled his mouth with spray, 

Reft him of his breath, 

To some far realms away 

He would float with Death ; 



ISO LYRA CELTICA 

Wild wind would sing over him, 

And the free foam cover him, 

Waft him sleeping onward, 

Floating seaward, sunward, 

All alone with Death ; 

In a realm of wondrous dreams, 

And shadow-haunted ocean gleams 



RODEN NOEL 151 

The Dance. 

The dance I the dance ! 
Maidens advance 
Your undulating charm ! 
A line deploys 
Of gentle boys, 
Waving the light arm, 
Bronze, alive and warm ; 
Reed flute and drum 
Sound as they come, 
Under your eyelight warm ! 

Many a boy, 
A dancing joy, 
Many a mellow maid, 
With fireflies in the shade, 
Mingle and glide, 
Appear and hide, 
Here in a fairy glade: 
Ebb and flow 
To a music low, 
Viol, and flute and lyre, 
As melody mounts higher: 
With a merry will, 
They touch and thrill, 
Beautiful limbs of fire t 

Red berries, shells, 

Over bosom-dells, 

And girdles of light grass, 

May never hide 

The youthful pride 

Of beauty, ere it pass : 

Yet, ah ! sweet boy and lass, 

Refrain, retire ! 

Love is a fire ! 

Night will pass ! 



152 LYRA CELTICA 

From "The Water-Nymph and 
the Boy." 

I flung me round him, 
I drew him under ; 
I clung, I drowned him, 
My own white wonder . . 

Father and mother, 
Weeping and wild, 
Came to the forest, 
Calling the child, 
Came from the palace, 
Down to the pool, 
Calling my darling, 
My beautiful ! 

Under the water, 
Cold and so pale ! 
Could it be love made 
Beauty to fail? 

Ah me 1 for mortals : 

In a few moons, 

If I had left him, 

After some Junes 

He would have faded, 

Faded away, 

He, the young monarch, whom 

All would obey, 

Fairer than day; 

Alien to springtime, 

Joyless and grey, 

He would have faded, 

Faded away, 

Moving a mockery, 

Scorned of the day ! 



RODEN NOEL 153 

Now I have taken him 

All in his prime, 

Saved from slow poisoning 

Pitiless Time, 

Filled with his happiness, 

One with the prime, 

Saved from the cruel 

Dishonour of Time, 

Laid him, my beautiful, 

Laid him to rest, 

Loving, adorable, 

Softly to rest, 

Here in my crystalline, 

Here in my breast! 



154 LYRA CELTICA 

A Casual Song. 

She sang of lovers met to play 
" Under the may bloom, under the may," 
But when I sought her face so fair, 
I found the set face of Despair. 

She sang of woodland leaves in spring, 
And joy of young love dallying ; 
But her young eyes were all one moan, 
And Death weighed on her heart like stone. 

I could not ask, I know not now, 
The story of that mournful brow ; 
It haunts me as it haunted then, 
A flash from fire of hell-bound men. 



RODEN NOEL 155 

"The Pity of it." 

If our love may fail, Lily, 
If our love may fail, 
What will mere life avail, Lily, 
Mere life avail? 

Seed that promised blossom, 
Withered in the mould, 
Pale petals overblowing, 
Failing from the gold 1 

When the fervent fingers 
Listlessly unclose, 
May the life that lingers 
Find repose, Lily, 
Find repose ! 

Who may dream of all the music 

Only a lover hears, 

Hearkening to hearts triumphant 

Bearing down the years? 

Ah 1 may eternal anthems dwindle 

To a low sound of tears ? 

Room in all the ages 
For our love to grow, 
Prayers of both demanded 
A little while ago : 

And now a few poor moments, 
Between life and death, 
May be proven all too ample 
For love's breath ! 

Seed that promised blossom, 
Withered in the mould ! 
Pale petals overblowing, 
Failing from the gold ! 



156 LYRA CELTICA 

I well believe the fault lay 
More with me than you, 
But I feel the shadow closing 
Cold about us two. 

An hour may yet be yielded us, 
Or a very little more 
Then a few tears, and silence 
For evermore, Lily, 
For evermore ! 



RODEN NOEL 157 

The Old. 

They are waiting on the shore 
For the bark to take them home ; 
They will toil and grieve no more ; 
The hour for release hath come. 

All their long life lies behind, 
Like a dimly blending dream ; 
There is nothing left to bind 
To the realms that only seem. 

They are waiting for the boat, 
There is nothing left to do ; 
What was near them grows remote, 
Happy silence falls like dew ; 
Now the shadowy bark is come, 
And the weary may go home. 

By still water they would rest, 
In the shadow of the tree; 
After battle sleep is best, 
After noise tranquillity. 



158 CHARLES P. O'CONOR 

Maura Du of Ballyshannon. 
i. 

Maura du* of Ballyshannon 1 

Maura du, my flower of flowers! 
Can you hear me there out seaward, 

Calling back the bygone hours? 
Maura du, my own, my honey! 
With wild passion still aglow, 
I am singing you the old songs 

That I sung you long ago. 
And you mind, love, how it ran on 

"In your eyes asthore machreelt 
All my Heaven there I see, 
And that's true! 
Maura du ! 
Maura du of Ballyshannon!" 

II. 

Maura du of Ballyshannon! 

Maura du, my soul's one queen! 
Big with love my heart is flying, 

Where the grass is growing green. 
Maura du, my own, my honey! 

That I love you, well you know, 
And still sing for you the old song, 

That I sung you long ago. 
And you mind, love, how it ran on 

"In your eyes asthore machree! 
All my Heaven there I see, 
And that 's true I 
Maura du ! 
Maura du of Ballyshannon!" 



* Maura du, " Dear Mary." 

t Asthore machree, "The darling of my heart" 



CHARLES P. O'CONOR 159 
ill. 

Maura du of Bally shannon, 

Maura du, the day is drear! 
Ah, the night is long and weary, 
Far away from you, my dear ! 
Maura du, my own, my honey! 

Still let winds blow high or low, 
I must sing to you the old song, 

That I sung you long ago, 
And you mind, love, how it ran on 

"In your eyes asthore machree! 
All my Heaven there I see, 
And that 's true I 
Maura du! 
Maura du of Bally shannon 1 

IV. 

Maura du of Ballyshannon ! 

Maura du, when winds blow south, 
I will with the birds fly homeward, 

There to kiss your Irish mouth. 
Maura du, my own, my honey! 

When time is no longer foe, 
By your side I '11 sing the old song, 

That I sung you long ago, 
And you mind, love, how it ran on 

"In your eyes asthore machree! 
All my Heaven there I see, 
And that 's true I 
Maura du I 
Maura du of Ballyshannon!" 



i6o JOHN FRANCIS O'DONNELL 
A Spinning Song. 

My love to fight the Saxon goes, 

And bravely shines his sword of steel, 
A heron's feather decks his brows, 

And a spur on either heel ; 
His steed is blacker than a sloe, 

And fleeter than the falling star ; 
Amid the surging ranks he'll go 

And shout for joy of war. 

Twinkle, twinkle, pretty spindle, let the white wool 

drift and dwindle, 
Oh 1 we weave a damask doublet for my love's coat 

of steel. 

Hark ! the timid, turning treadle, crooning soft old- 
fashioned ditties 
To the low, slow murmur of the brown, round wheel. 

My love is pledged to Ireland's fight ; 

My love would die for Ireland's weal, 
To win her back her ancient right, 

And make her foemen reel. 
Oh, close I '11 clasp him to my breast 

When homeward from the war he comes ; 
The fires shall light the mountain's crest, 

The valley peal with drums. 

Twinkle, twinkle, pretty spindle, let the white wool 

drift and dwindle, 
Oh 1 we weave a damask doublet for my love's coat 

of steel. 

Hark 1 the timid, turning treadle, crooning soft old- 
fashioned ditties 
To the low, slow murmur of the brown, round wheel. 



JOHN BOYLE O'REILLY 161 
A White Rose. 

The red rose whispers of passion, 
And the white rose breathes of love ; 

Oh, the red rose is a falcon, 
And the white rose is a dove. 

But I send you a cream-white rosebud 

With a flush on its petal tips ; 
For the love that is purest and sweetest 

Has a kiss of desire on the lips. 



162 ARTHUR O'SHAUGHNESSY 
The Fountain of Tears. 

If you go over desert and mountain, 
Far into the country of Sorrow, 
To-day and to-night and to-morrow, 

And maybe for months and for years ; 
You shall come with a heart that is bursting 
For trouble and toiling and thirsting, 

You shall certainly come to the fountain 

At length, to the Fountain of Tears. 

Very peaceful the place is, and solely 

For piteous lamenting and sighing, 

And those who come living or dying 
Alike from their hopes and their fears ; 

Full of Cyprus-like shadows the place is, 

And statues that cover their faces : 
But out of the gloom springs the holy 
And beautiful Fountain of Tears. 

And it flows and it flows with a motion, 

So gentle and lovely and listless, 

And murmurs a tune so resistless 
To him who hath suffered and hears 

You shall surely without a word spoken, 

Kneel down there and know your heart broken, 
And yield to the long-curb'd emotion 
That day by the Fountain of Tears. 

For it grows and it grows, as though leaping 
Up higher the more one is thinking ; 
And even its tunes go on sinking 

More poignantly into the ears : 
Yea, so blessed and good seems that fountain, 
Reached after dry desert and mountain, 

You shall fall down at length in your weeping 

And bathe your sad face in the tears. 



ARTHUR O'SHAUGHNESSY 163 

Then, alas! while you lie there a season, 
And sob between living and dying, 
And give up the land you were trying 

To find 'mid your hopes and your fears ; 
O the world shall come up and pass o'er you, 
Strong men shall not stay to care for you, 

Nor wonder indeed for what reason 

Your way should seem harder than theirs. 



But perhaps, while you lie, never lifting 
Your cheek from the wet leaves it presses, 
Nor caring to raise your wet tresses 

And look how the cold world appears, 
O perhaps the mere silences round you 
All things in that place grief hath found you, 

Yea, e'en to the clouds o'er you drifting 

May soothe you somewhat through your tears. 



You may feel, when a falling leaf brushes 
Your face, as though someone had kissed you 
Or think at least some one who missed you 

Hath sent you a thought, if that cheers ; 
Or a bird's little song faint and broken, 
May pass for a tender word spoken : 

Enough, while around you there rushes 

That life-drowning torrent of tears. 

And the tears shall flow faster and faster, 

Brim over, and baffle resistance, 

And roll down bleared roads to each distance 
Of past desolation and years ; 

Till they cover the place of each sorrow, 

And leave you no Past and no Morrow: 
For what man is able to master 
And stem the great Fountain of Tears ? 



164 LYRA CELTICA 

But the floods of the tears meet and gather ; 
The sound of them all grows like thunder : 
O into what bosom, I wonder, 
Is poured the whole sorrow of years ? 
For Eternity only seems keeping 
Account of the great human weeping : 
May God then, the Maker and Father- 
May he find a place for the tears ! 



FANNY PARNELL 165 
After Death. 

Shall mine eyes behold thy glory, O my country? Shall 

mine eyes behold thy glory? 
Or shall the darkness close around them, ere the sun-blaze 

break at last upon thy story? 

When the nations ope for thee their queenly circle, as a 

sweet new sister hail thee, 
Shall these lips be sealed in callous death and silence, 

that have known but to bewail thee? 

Shall the ear be deaf that only loved thy praises, when 

all men their tribute bring thee? 
Shall the mouth be clay that sang thee in thy squalor, 

when all poets' mouths shall sing thee? 

Ah ! the harpings and the salvos and the shouting of thy 
exiled sons returning ! 

I should hear, tho' dead and mouldered, and the grave- 
damps should not chill my bosom's burning. 

Ah! the tramp of feet victorious! I should hear them 

'mid the shamrocks and the mosses, 
And my heart should toss within the shroud and quiver 

as a captive dreamer tosses. 

I should turn and rend the cere-clothes round me, giant 

sinews I should borrow 
Crying, "O my brothers, I have also loved her in her 

loneliness and sorrow. 

" Let me join with you the jubilant procession : let me 

chant with you her story ; 
Then contented I shall go back to the shamrocks, now 

mine eyes have seen her glory!" 



166 T. W. ROLLESTON 

The Dead at Clonmacnois. 
(From the Irish of Enoch o' Gillan.) 

In a quiet watered land, a land of roses, 

Stands Saint Kieran's City fair ; 
And the warriors of Erin in their famous generations 

Slumber there. 

There beneath the dewy hillside sleep the noblest of the 

Clan of Conn, 
Each below his stone with name in branching Ogham 

And the sacred knot thereon. 

There they laid to rest the seven Kings of Tara, 

There the sons of Cairbre sleep 

Battle banners of the Gael, that in Kieran's plain of 
crosses 

Now their final posting keep. 

And in Clonmacnois they laid the men of Teffia, 

And right many a lord of Breagh ; 
Deep the sod above Clan Creide and Clan Conaill, 

Kind in hall and fierce in fray. 

Many and many a son of Conn the Hundred-Fighter 

In the red earth lies at rest; 
Many a blue eye of Clan Colman the turf covers, 

Many a swan-white breast. 



DORA SIGERSON 167 

Unknown Ideal. 

Whose is the voice that will not let me rest? 

I hear it speak. 

Where is the shore will gratify my quest, 

Show what I seek? 

Not yours, weak Muse, to mimic that far voice, 

With halting tongue; 

No peace, sweet land, to bid my heart rejoice 

Your groves among. 

Whose is the loveliness I know is by, 

Yet cannot place? 

Is it perfection of the sea or sky, 

Or human face? 

Not yours, my pencil, to delineate 

The splendid smile! 

Blind in the sun, we struggle on with Fate 

That glows the while. 

Whose are the feet that pass me, echoing 

On unknown ways? 

Whose are the lips that only part to sing 

Through all my days? 

Not yours, fond youth, to fill mine eager eyes 

That still adore 

Beauty that tarries not, nor satisfies 

For evermore. 



168 GEORGE SIGERSON 
Mo Cdilin Bonn. 

The blush is on the flower, and the bloom is on the 

tree, 
And the bonnie, bonnie sweet birds are carolling their 

glee; 
And the dews upon the grass are made diamonds by the 

sun, 
All to deck a path of glory for my own Cdilin 

Donnl* 

O, fair she is ! O, rare she is ! O, dearer still to me 1 
More welcome than the green leaf to winter-stricken 

tree, 
More welcome than the blossom to the weary, dusty 

bee, 
Is the coming of my true love my own Cailin Donn! 

O Sycamore ! O Sycamore ! wave, wave your banners 

green- 
Let all your pennons flutter, O Beech 1 before my queen ! 
Ye fleet and honied breezes, to kiss her hand ye run ; 
But my heart has passed before ye to my own Cailin 

Donn 1 

O, fair she is ! O, rare she is ! O, dearer still to me 1 

Ring out, ring out, O Linden ! your merry leafy bells 1 
Unveil your brilliant torches, O Chestnut 1 to the dells ; 
Strew, strew the glade with splendour, for morn it 

cometh on 1 
Oh, the morn of all delight to me my own Cailin 

Donn 1 

O, fair she is ! O, rare she is ! O, dearer still to me ! 



Pron. Colleen Dhun a "brown (haired) girl." 



GEORGE SIGERSON 169 

She is coming, where we parted, where she wanders 
every day ; 

There's a gay surprise before her who thinks me far 
away ; 

O, like hearing bugles triumph when the fight of Free- 
dom's won, 

Is the joy around your footsteps, my own Cailin 
Donn ! 

O, fair she is 1 O, rare she is ! O, dearer still to me ! 
More welcome than the green leaf to winter-stricken 

tree, 
More welcome than the blossom to the weary, dusty 

bee, 
Is your coming, O my true love my own Cailin 

Donn ! 



170 JOHN TODHUNTER 
An Irish Love Song. 

O, you plant the pain in my heart with your wistful 

eyes, 

Girl of my choice, Maureen ! 
Will you drive me mad for the kisses your shy sweet 

mouth denies, 
Maureen ! 

Like a walking ghost I am, and no words to woo, 

White rose of the West, Maureen ; 
For it's pale you are, and the fear that's on you is over 
me too, 

Maureen ! 

Sure it's our complaint that's on us, asthore, this day, 

Bride of my dreams, Maureen ; 

The smart of the bee that stung us, his honey must cure, 
they say, 

Maureen ! 

I '11 coax the light to your eyes, and the rose to your 

face, 

Mavourneen, my own Maureen, 
When I feel the warmth of your breast, and your nest 

is my arms' embrace, 
Maureen ! 

O where was the King o' the World that day only me, 

My one true love, Maureen, 

And you the Queen with me there, and your throne in 
my heart, machree, 

Maureen ! 



JOHN TODHUNTER 171 
The Sunburst. 

Through the midnight of despair, I heard one making 

moan 
For her dead, her victors fall'n to gain all battles but 

her own ; 
I heard the voice of Ireland, wailing for her dead 

With wailing unavailing, and sobbing as she said : 
"In vain in many a battle have my heroes fought and 

bled, 
Like water, in vain slaughter, my sons' best blood been 

shed, 
For my house is desolate, discrowned my head ! 

" In vain my daughters bear their babes babes with 

the mournful eyes 

Of children without father that hear strange lullabies, 
Rocked in their lonely cradles by mothers crooning low, 
And weeping o'er their sleeping, sad songs of long ago ; 
Whose eyes, as they remember, while the wailing night- 
winds blow, 

Their nation's desolation, in their singing overflow 
With the overflowing of an ancient woe ! " 

O Mother, mournful Mother, turn from wailing for thy 

dead, 
Grey Sibyl, still unvanquished, lift up thy dauntless 

head, 
O thou Swan among the nations, enchanted long, so 

long 

That the story of thy glory is a half-forgotten song, 
Lift thy voice and bless the living, thy sons who round 

thee throng ! 
In the hour of their power they shall right thine ancient 

wrong ; 
In thyself is thy salvation, let thy heart be strong 1 



172 LYRA CELTICA 

The Leaf of many Sorrows, wet with thy tears for dew, 

Emblem of thy long patience ; that hearts, as brave and 
true 

As those united hearts of green, through infamy and 
scorn, 

Through the nation's tribulations, like Saints the cross, 
have worn, 

We'll blazon with the Sunburst, star of thy destined 
morn, 

Set in hope's hue, our ancient blue on royal banners 
borne; 

And green the Shamrock long shall shine, no more for- 
lorn! 



JOHN TODHUNTER 173 
Song. 

Bring from the craggy haunts of birch and pine, 

Thou wild wind, bring 
Keen forest odours from that realm of thine, 

Upon thy wing ! 

O wind, O mighty, melancholy wind, 

Blow through me, blow I 
Thou blowest forgotten things into my mind, 

From long ago. 



174 KATHERINE TYNAN 
Winter Sunset. 

Roses in the sky, 

Roses in the sea ; 
Bowers of scarlet sky-roses ; 

Take my heart and me. 

God was good to make, 
This December weather, 

All this sky a rose-garden, 
Rose and fire together. 

To the East are burning 

Roses in a garden, 
Roses in a rosy field, 

Hesper for their warden. 

Yonder to the West 

Roses all afire, 
Mirror now some rare splendid 

Rose of their desire. 

Pulsing deeper, deeper, 
Waves of fire throb on, 

Never were such red roses 
At sunset or dawn. 

Roses on the hills, 

Roses in the hollow, 
Roses on the wet hedges, 

In the shining fallow. 

West wind, blow and blow ! 

That has blown ajar 
Gates of God's great rose-garden, 

Where His Angels are, 
Gathering up the rose-leaves 

For a shower of roses 
On the night the Lord Babe 

His sweet eye uncloses. 



KATHERINE TYNAN 175 

All the sky is scarlet 

Flaming on the azure. 
O, there 's fire in Heaven I 

My heart aches with pleasure. 

Leagues of rose and scarlet, 

Roses red as blood : 
All the world's a rose-garden. 

God is good, is good. 



176 LYRA CELTICA 

Shamrock Song. 

O, the red rose may be fair, 
And the lily statelier ; 
But my shamrock, one in three, 
Takes the very heart of me ! 

Many a lover hath the rose 

When June's musk-wind breathes and blows : 

And in many a bower is heard 

Her sweet praise from bee and bird. 

Through the gold hours dreameth she, 
In her warm heart passionately, 
Her fair face hung languid-wise : 
O, her breath of honey and spice ! 

Like a fair saint virginal 
Stands your lily, silver and tall ; 
Over all the flowers that be 
Is my shamrock dear to me. 

Shines the lily like the sun, 
Crystal-pure, a cold, sweet nun ; 
With her austere lip she sings 
To her heart of heavenly things. 

Gazeth through a night of June 
To her sister-saint, the moon ; 
With the stars communeth long 
Of the angels and their song. 

But when summer died last year 
Rose and lily died with her ; 
Shamrock stayeth every day, 
Be the winds or gold or grey. 

Irish hills, as grey as the dove, 
Know the little plant I love ; 
Warm and fair it mantles them 
Stretching down from throat to hem. 



KATHERINE TYNAN 177 

And it laughs o'er many a vale, 
Sheltered safe from storm and gale ; 
Sky and sun and stars thereof 
Love the gentle plant I love. 

Soft it clothes the ruined floor 
Of many an abbey, grey and hoar, 
And the still home of the dead 
With its green is carpeted. 

Roses for an hour of love, 
With the joy and pain thereof : 
Stand my lilies white to see 
All for prayer and purity. 

These are white as the harvest moon, 
Roses flush like the heart of June ; 
But my shamrock, brave and gay, 
Glads the tired eyes every day. 

O, the red rose shineth rare, 
And the lily saintly fair ; 
But my shamrock, one in three, 
Takes the inmost heart of me 1 



178 KATHERINE TYNAN 

Wild Geese. 
(A Lament for the Irish Jacobites.) 

I have heard the curlew crying 

On a lonely moor and mere ; 
And the sea-gull's shriek in the gloaming 

Is a lonely sound in the ear : 
And I 've heard the brown thrush mourning 

For her children stolen away ; 
But it's O for the homeless Wild Geese 

That sailed ere the dawn of day ! 

For the curlew out on the moorland 

Hath five fine eggs in the nest ; 
And the thrush will get her a new love 

And sing her song with the best. 
As the swallow flies to the Summer 

Will the gull return to the sea: 
But never the wings of the Wild Geese 

Will flash over seas to me. 

And 'tis ill to be roaming, roaming 

With homesick heart in the breast ! 
And how long I 've looked for your coming, 

And my heart is the empty nest! 
O sore in the land of the stranger 

They "11 pine for the land far away ! 
But day of Aughrim, my sorrow, 

It was you was the bitter day ! 



CHARLES WEEKES 179 
Dreams. 

I troubled in my dream. I knew 

The silent gates and walls. 
Around me out of shadow grew 

The steady waterfalls. 
Afar the raven spot-like flew 

Where nothing wakes or calls. 

I fell on deeper trance. I was 

Where all the dead are hid. 
They dreamed. They did not sleep, because 

They saw with lifted lid. 
They worked with neither word nor pause : 

I knew not what they did. 

I stood there with the dead in hell 

Dreaming, and heard no moan. 
The light died, and the darkness fell 

About me like a stone. 
I woke upon the midnight bell 

In God's dream here alone. 



i8o CHARLES WEEKES 
Poppies. 

The sudden night is here at once: 
The lost lamb cries and runs and stands, 
For all the poppy cups are hands 

To seize and take him when he runs. 

The dusky cups are blood colour ; 
And like a cup of blood this one 
To drink, and be with Babylon, 

And love and kiss the lips of her. 

Thy sins as snow! just then it burned 
The dark a flaming face and bust ; 
And just beneath here in the dust 

The Scarlet Woman laughed and turned. 



W. B. YEATS 181 

They went forth to the Battle, but 
they always fell. 

Rose of all Roses, Rose of all the World, 
The tall thought-woven sails that flap unfurled 
Above the tide of hours, rise on the air, 
And God's bell buoyed to be the waters' care, 
And pressing on, or lingering slow with fear, 
The throngs with blown wet hair are gathering near. 
"Turn if ye may," I call out to each one, 
" From the grey ships and battles never won. 
Danger no refuge holds, and war no peace, 
For him who hears Love sing and never cease 
Beside her clean swept hearth, her quiet shade ; 
But gather all for whom no Love hath made 
A woven silence, or but came to cast 
A song into the air, and singing past 
To smile upon her stars ; and gather you, 
Who have sought more than is in rain or dew, 
Or in the sun and moon, or on the earth, 
Or sighs amid the wandering, starry mirth, 
Or comes in laughter from the sea's sad lips, 
And wage God's battles in the long grey ships. 
The sad, the lonely, the insatiable, 
To these Old Night shall all her mystery tell, 
God's bell has claimed them by the little cry 
Of their sad hearts that may not live nor die." 

Rose of all Roses, Rose of all the World, 

You, too, have come where the dim tides are hurled 

Upon the wharves of sorrow, and heard ring 

The bell that calls us on the sweet far thing. 

Beauty grown sad with its eternity, 

Made you of us and of the dim grey sea. 

Our long ships loose thought-woven sails and wait, 

For God has bid them share an equal fate ; 



182 



LYRA CELTICA 



And when at last defeated in His wars, 

They have gone down under the same white stars, 

We shall no longer hear the little cry 

Of our sad hearts that may not live nor die. 



W. B. YEATS 183 

The White Birds. 

I would that we were, my beloved, white birds on the 

foam of the sea, 
We tire of the flame of the meteor, before it can pass 

by and flee; 
And the flame of the blue star of twilight, hung low on 

the rim of the sky, 
Has awaked in our hearts, my beloved, a sadness that 

never may die. 

A weariness comes from those dreamers, dew dabbled, 

the lily and rose, 
Ah, dream not of them, my beloved, the flame of the 

meteor that goes, 
Or the flame of the blue star that lingers hung low in 

the fall of the dew : 
For I would we were changed to white birds on the 

wandering foam I and you. 

I am haunted by numberless islands, and many a Danaan 

shore, 
Where Time would surely forget us, and Sorrow come 

near us no more, 
Soon far from the rose and the lily, and the fret of the 

flames would we be, 
Were we only white birds, my beloved, buoyed out on 

the foam of the sea. 



184 W. B. YEATS 

The Lake of Innisfree. 

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree, 
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles 

made; 
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey 

bee, 
And live alone in the bee-loud glade. 

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes 

dropping slow, 
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the 

cricket sings ; 

There midnight 's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow, 
And evening full of the linnet's wings. 

I will arise and go now, for always night and day 
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the 

shore ; 
While I stand on the roadway or on the pavements 

gray, 
I hear it in the deep heart's core. 



II 

SCOTO-CELTIC 
(Middle Period) 



LATER GAELIC 187 

From the "Sean Dana." 
Prologue to Gaul. 

How mournful is the silence of Night 

When she pours her dark clouds over the valleys 1 

Sleep has overcome the youth of the chase : 

He slumbers on the heath, and his dog at his knee. 

The children of the mountain he pursues 

In his dream, while sleep forsakes him. 

Slumber, ye children of fatigue ; 
Star after star is now ascending the height. 
Slumber] thou swift dog and nimble, 
Ossian will arouse thee not from thy repose. 
Lonely I keep watch, 
And dear to me is the gloom of night 
When I travel from glen to glen, 
With no hope to behold a morning or brightness. 

Spare thy light, O Sun I 
Waste not thy lamps so fast 
Generous is thy soul, as the King of Morven's : 
But thy renown shall yet fade; 
Spare thy lamps of a thousand flames 
In thy blue hall, when thou retires! 
Under thy dark-blue gates to sleep, 
Beneath the dark embraces of the storm. 
Spare them, ere thou art forsaken for ever, 
As I am, without one whom I may lovel 
Spare them, for there is not a hero now 
To behold the blue flame of the beautiful lamps 1 

Ah, Cona of the precious lights, 
Thy lamps burn dimly now : 
Thou art like a blasted oak: 
Thy dwellings and thy people are gone 
East or west, on the face of thy mountain, 
There shall no more be found of them but the trace ! 



188 LYRA CELTICA 

In Selma, Tara, or Temora 

There is not a song, a shell, or a harp ; 

They have all become green mounds ; 

Their stones have fallen into their own meadows ; 

The stranger from the deep or the desert 

Will never behold them rise above the clouds. 

And, O Selma ! home of my delight, 
Is this heap my ruin, 

Where grows the thistle, the heather, and the wild 
grass? 



LATER GAELIC 189 

In Hebrid Seas. 

We turned her prow into the sea, 

Her stern into the shore, 
And first we raised the tall tough masts, 

And then the canvas hoar ; 

Fast filled our towering cloud-like sails, 

For the wind came from the land, 
And such a wind as we might choose 

Were the winds at our command : 

A breeze that rushing down the hill 

Would strip the blooming heather, 
Or, rustling through the green-clad grove, 

Would whirl its leaves together. 

But when it seized the aged saugh, 

With the light locks of grey, 
It tore away its ancient root, 

And there the old trunk lay! 

It raised the thatch too from the roof, 

And scattered it along; 
Then tossed and whirled it through the air, 

Singing a pleasant song. 

It heaped the ruins on the land : 

Though sire and son stood by 
They could no help afford, but gaze 

With wan and troubled eye I 

A flap, a flash, the green roll dashed, 

And laughed against the red ; 
Upon our boards, now here, now there, 

It knocked its foamy head. 

The dun bowed whelk in the abyss, 

As on the galley bore, 
Gave a tap upon her gunwale 

And a slap upon her floor. 



LYRA CELTICA 

She could have split a slender straw 

So clean and well she went 
As still obedient to the helm 

Her stately course she bent 

We watched the big beast eat the small 

The small beast nimbly fly, 
And listened to the plunging eels 

The sea-gull's clang on high. 

We had no other music 

To cheer us on our way : 
Till round those sheltering hills we passed 

And anchored in this bay. 



LATER GAELIC 191 

Cumha Ghriogair Mhic Griogair. 
(The Lament of Gregor MacGregor.) 

Early on a Lammas morning, 

With my husband was I gay ; 
But my heart got sorely wounded 

Ere the middle of the day. 

Ochan, ochan, ochan uiri 

Though I cry, my child, with thee 
Ochan, ochan, ochan uiri, 

Now he hears not thee nor me ! 

Malison on judge and kindred, 
They have wrought me mickle woe ; 

With deceit they came about us, 
Through deceit they laid him low. 

Ochan, ochan, ochan uiri, etc. 

Had they met but twelve MacGregors, 

With my Gregor at their head ; 
Now my child had not been orphaned, 

Nor these bitter tears been shed. 

Ochan, ochan, ochan uiri, etc. 

On an oaken block they laid him, 

And they spilt his blood around ; 
I 'd have drunk it in a goblet 

Largely, ere it reached the ground. 

Ochan, ochan, ochan uiri, etc. 

Would my father then had sickened 

Colin, with the plague been ill ; 
Though Rory's daughter, in her anguish, 

Smote her palms, and cried her fill. 

Ochan, ochan, ochan uiri, etc. 



192 LYRA CELTICA 

I could Colin shut in prison, 
And black Duncan put in ward, 

Every Campbell now in Bealach, 
Bind with handcuffs, close and hard. 

Ochan, ochan, ochan uiri, etc. 

When I reached the plain of Bealach, 
I got there no rest, nor calm ; 

But my hair I tore in pieces, 
Wore the skin from off each palm ! 

Ochan, ochan, ochan uiri, etc. 

Oh ! could I fly up with the skylark- 
Had I Gregor's strength in hand ; 

The highest stone that 's in yon castle 
Should lie lowest on the land. 

Ochan, ochan, ochan uiri, etc. 

Would I saw Finlarig blazing, 
And the smoke of Bealach smelled, 

So that fair, soft-handed Gregor 
In these arms once more I held. 

Ochan, ochan, ochan uiri, etc. 

While the rest have all got lovers 
Now a lover have I none ; 

My fair blossom, fresh and fragrant, 
Withers on the ground alone. 

Ochan, ochan, ochan uiri, etc. 

While all other wives the night-time 
Pass in slumber's balmy bands, 

I upon my bedside weary, 
Never cease to wring my hands. 

Ochan, ochan, ochan uiri, etc. 



LATER GAELIC 193 

For, far better be with Gregor 

Where the heather's in its prime, 
Than with mean and Lowland barons 

In a house of stone and lime. 

Ochan, ochan, ochan uiri, etc. 

Greatly better be with Gregor 

In a mantle rude and torn, 
Than with little Lowland barons 

Where fine silk and lace are worn. 

Ochan, ochan, ochan uiri, etc. 

Though it rained and roared together, 

All throughout the stormy day, 
Gregor, in a crag, could find me 

A kind shelter where to stay. 

Ochan, ochan, ochan uiri, etc. 

Bahu, bahu, little nursling 

Oh ! so tender now and weak ; 
I fear the day will never brighten 

When revenge for him you'll seek. 

Ochan, ochan, ochan uiri, 

Though I cry, my child, with thee 
Ochan, ochan, ochan uiri, 

Yet he hears not thee nor me ! 



194 LATER GAELIC 

Drowned. 

No wonder my heart it is sore, 
No wonder the tears that I weep ; 

My true love I '11 see him no more, 
He lies fathoms down in the deep. 

He lies fathoms down in the deep, 
Where the cold clammy seaweeds abound. 

How cruel thy wild waves to me, 
O sea that my true love hast drowned ! 

O sea that my true love hast drowned, 
Thou hast reft me of joy evermore ; 

Thy waves make me shudder with fear 
As I listen and hear their wild roar. 

My true love and I, hand in hand, 
Often wandered the uplands among, 

Where the wild flowers are freshest to see, 
And the wild birds are freest of song ; 

But alas for the days that are gone, 

Alas for my sorrow and me 1 
Alas that my true love is drowned 

Fathoms down in the depths of the sea I 



ALEXANDER MACDONALD 195 

The Manning of the Birlinn. 

The Sailing. 

The sun had opened golden yellow, 

From his case, 
Though still the sky wore dark and drumly 

A scarr'd and frowning face : 
Then troubled, tawny, dense, dun-bellied, 

Scowling and sea-blue, 
Every dye that's in the tartan 

O'er it grew. 
Far away to the wild westward 

Grim it lowered, 
Where rain-charged clouds on thick squalls wandering 

Loomed and towered. 
Up they raised the speckled sails through 

Cloud-like light, 
And stretched them on the mighty halyards, 

Tense and tight. 
High on the mast so tall and stately 

Dark-red in hue 
They set them firmly, set them surely, 

Set them true. 
Round the iron pegs the ropes ran, 

Each its right ring through ; 
Thus having ranged the tackle rarely, 

Well and carefully, 
Every man sat waiting bravely, 

Where he ought to be. 
For now the airy windows opened, 

And from spots of bluish grey 
Let loose the keen and crabbed wild winds 

A fierce band were they 
'Twas then his dark cloak the ocean 

Round him drew. 
Dusky, livid, ruffling, whirling, 

Round at first it flew, 



ip6 LYRA CELTICA 

Till up he swell'd to mountains, or to glens, 
Dishevelled, rough, sank down 
While the kicking, tossing waters 
All in hills had grown. 
Its blue depth opened in huge maws, 

Wild and devouring, 
Down which, clasped in deadly struggles, 

Fierce strong waves were pouring. 
It took a man to look the storm-winds 

Right in the face 
As they lit up the sparkling spray on every surge-hill, 

In their fiery race. 
The waves before us, shrilly yelling, 

Raised their high heads hoar, 
While those behind, with moaning trumpets, 

Gave a bellowing roar. 
When we rose up aloft, majestic, 
On the heaving swell, 
Need was to pull in our canvas 

Smart and well : 
When she sank down with one huge swallow 

In the hollow glen, 
Every sail she bore aloft 

Was given to her then. 
The drizzling surges high and roaring 

Rush'd on us touting, 
Long ere they were near us come, 

We heard their shouting : 
They roll'd sweeping up the little waves 

Scourging them bare, 
Till all became one threatening swell, 

Our steersman's care. 
When down we fell from off the billows' 

Towering shaggy edge, 
Our keel was well-nigh hurled against 
The shells and sedge ; 



ALEXANDER MACDONALD 197 

The whole sea was lashing, dashing, 

All through other : 
It kept the seals and mightiest monsters 

In a pother 1 
The fury and the surging of the water, 

And our good ship's swift way 
Spatter'd their white brains on each billow, 

Livid and grey. 
With piteous wailing and complaining 

All the storm-tossed horde, 
Shouted out "We're now your subjects; 

Drag us on board." 
And the small fish of the ocean 

Turn'd over their white breast 
Dead, innumerable, with the raging 

Of the furious sea's unrest 
The stones and shells of the deep channel 

Were in motion ; 
Swept from out their lowly bed 

By the tumult of the ocean ; 
Till the sea, like a great mess of pottage, 

Troubled, muddy grew 
With the blood of many mangled creatures, 

Dirty red in hue 
When the horn'd and clawy wild beasts, 

Short-footed, splay, 
With great wailing gumless mouths 

Huge and wide open lay. 
But the whole deep was full of spectres, 

Loose and sprawling 
With the claws and with the tails of monsters, 

Pawing, squalling. 
It was frightful even to hear them 

Screech so loudly ; 
The sound might move full fifty heroes 

Stepping proudly. 



IQ8 LYRA CELTICA 

Our whole crew grew dull of hearing 

In the tempest's scowl, 
So sharp the quavering cries of demons 

And the wild beasts' howl. 
With the oaken planks the weltering waves were wrestling 

In their noisy splashing ; 
While the sharp beak of our swift ship 

On the sea-pigs came dashing. 
The wind kept still renewing all its wildness 

In the far West, 
Till with every kind of strain and trouble 

We were sore distress'd. 
We were blinded with the water 

Showering o'er us ever; 
And the awful night like thunder, 

And the lightning ceasing never. 
The bright fireballs in our tackling 

Flamed and smoked ; 
With the smell of burning brimstone 

We were well-nigh choked. 
All the elements above, below, 

Against us wrought ; 
Earth and wind and fire and water, 

With us fought. 
But when the evil one defied the sea 

To make us yield, 
At last, with one bright smile of pity, 

Peace with us she seal'd : 
Yet not before our yards were injured, 

And our sails were rent, 
Our poops were strained, our oars were weaken' d, 

All our masts were bent 
Not a stay but we had started, 

Our tackling all was wet and splashy, 
Nails and couplings, twisted, broken. 

Feeshie, fashie, 



ALEXANDER MACDONALD 199 

All the thwarts and all the gunwale 

Everywhere confess'd, 
And all above and all below, 

How sore they had been press'd. 
Not a bracket, not a rib, 

But the storm had loosed ; 
Fore and aft from stem to stern, 

All had got confused. 
Not a tiller but was split, 

And the helm was wounded ; 
Every board its own complaint 

Sadly sounded. 
Every trennel, every fastening 

Had been giving way ; 
Not a board remain'd as firm 

As at the break of day. 
Not a bolt in her but started, 

Not a rope the wind that bore, 
Not a part of the whole vessel 

But was weaker than before. 
The sea spoke to us its peace prattle 

At the cross of I slay's Kyle, 
And the rough wind, bitter boaster ! 

Was restrained for one good while. 
The tempest rose from off us into places 

Lofty in the upper air, 
And after all its noisy barking 

Ruffled round us fair. 
Then we gave thanks to the High King, 

Who rein'd the wind's rude breath, 
And saved our good Clan Ranald 

From a bad and brutal death. 
Then we furl'd up the fine and speckled sails 

Of linen wide, 
And we took down the smooth red dainty masts, 

And laid them by the side 



200 LYRA CELTICA 

On our long and slender polish'd oars 

Together leaning 
They were all made of the fir cut by Mac Barais 

In Eilean Fionain 
We went with our smooth, dashing rowing, 

And steady shock, 
Till we reach'd the good port round the point 

Of Fergus' Rock. 
There casting anchor peacefully 

We calmly rode ; 
We got meat and drink in plenty, 

And there we abode. 



ANGUS MACKENZIE 201 

The Lament of the Deer. 

(Cumha nam Fiadh.) 

for my strength ! once more to see the hills ! 
The wilds of Strath-Farar of stags, 

The blue streams, and winding vales, 

Where the flowering tree sends forth its sweet perfume. 

My thoughts are sad and dark ! 

1 lament the forest where I loved to roam, 
The secret corries, the haunt of hinds, 
Where often I watched them on the hill ! 

Corrie-Garave ! O that I was within thy bosom 
Scuir-na-Lapaich of steeps, with thy shelter, 
Where feed the herds which never seek for stalls, 
But whose skin gleams red in the sunshine of the hills. 

Great was my love in youth, and strong my desire, 
Towards the bounding herds ; 
But now, broken, and weak, and hopeless, 
Their remembrance wounds my heart 

To linger in the laich* I mourn, 
My thoughts are ever in the hills ; 
For there my childhood and my youth was nursed 
The moss and the craig in the morning breeze was my 
delight. 

Then was I happy in my life, 

When the voices of the hill sung sweetly ; 

More sweet to me, than any string, 

It soothed my sorrow or rejoiced my heart. 

My thoughts wandered to no other land 

Beyond the hill of the forest, the shealings of the deer, 

Where the nimble herds ascended the hill, 

As I lay in my plaid on the dewy bed. 

* Low Country. 



202 LYRA CELTICA 

The sheltering hollows, where I crept towards the hart, 
On the pastures of the glen, or in the forest wilds 
And if once more I may see them as of old, 
How will my heart bound to watch again the pass I 

Great was my joy to ascend the hills 

In the cause of the noble chief, 

Mac Shimd of the piercing eye never to fail at need, 

With all his brave Frasers, gathered beneath his banner. 

When they told of his approach, with all his ready arms, 
My heart bounded for the chase 
On the rugged steep, on the broken hill, 
By hollow, and ridge, many were the red stags which 
he laid low. 

He is the pride of hunters ; my trust was in his gun, 

When the sound of its shot rung in my ear, 

The grey ball launched in flashing fire, 

And the dun stag fell in the rushing speed of his course. 

When evening came down on the hill, 
The time for return to the star of the glen, 
The kindly lodge where the noble gathered, 
The sons of the tartan and the plaid, 

With joy and triumph they returned 

To the dwelling of plenty and repose; 

The bright blazing hearth the circling wine 

The welcome of the noble chief! 



DUNCAN BAN MACINTYRE 203 
Ben Dorain. 

The honour o'er each hill 

Hath Ben Dorain ; 
Scene, to me, the sweetest still 

That day dawns upon : 
Its long moor's level way, 

And its nooks whence wild deer stray, 
To the lustre on the brae 

Oft I 've lauded them. 

Dear to me its dusky boughs, 

In the wood where green grass grows, 
And the stately herd repose, 

Or there wander slow ; 
But the troops with bellies white, 

When the chase comes into sight, 
Then I love to watch their flight, 

Going nosily. 

The stag is airy, brisk, and light, 

And no pomp has he ; 
Though his garb's the fashion quite, 

Never haughty he : 
Yet a mantle's round him spread, 

Not soon threadbare, then shed, 
And its hue as wax is red 

Fairly clothing him. 

The delight I felt to rise 

At the morning's call I 
And to see the troops I prize 

The hills thronging all : 
Ten score with stately tread, 

And with light uplifted head, 
Quite unpampered there that fed, 

Fond and fawning all. 



204 LYRA CELTICA 

Lightsomely there came 

From each clean and shapely frame, 
Through their murmuring lips, a tame 

Chant, with drawling fall. 
In the pool one rolled a low 

With the hind one played the beau, 
As she trotted to and fro, 

Looking saucily. 

I would rather have the deer 

Gasping meaningly, 
Than all Erin's songs to hear 

Sung melodiously ; 
For above the finest bass 

Hath the stag's sweet voice a grace, 
As he bellows on the face 

Of Ben Dorain. 

Loud and long he gives a roar 

From his very inmost core, 
Which is heard behind, before, 

Far and fallingly ; 
But the hind of softer notes, 

With her calf that near her trots, 
Match each other's tuneful throats, 

Crying longingly. 

Her eye's soft and tender ray 

With no flaw in it, 
O'er whose lid the brow is gray, 

Guides her wandering feet : 
Very well she walks, and bold, 

Lively o'er the russet wold, 
Tripping from her desert hold 

Most undauntingly. 

Faultless is her pace, 

And her leap is full of grace 
Ha ! the last when in the race 

Never saw I her: 



DUNCAN BAN MACINTYRE 205 

When she takes yon startled stride, 

Nor once turns her head aside, 
Aught to match her hasty pride 

Is not known to me. 

But now she 's on the heath, 

As she ought to be, 
Where the tender grass she seeth, 

Growing dawtily ; 
The dry bent, the moor grass bare, 

With the sappy herbs are there, 
That make fat, and full, and fair, 

Her plump quarters all. 

And those little wells are nigh, 

Where the water-cresses lie, 
Above wine she likes to try 

Their waves' solacing ; 
Of the rye-grass, twisted rows, 

On the rude hill side it grows, 
Than of rarest festal shows, 

Is she fonder far. 

The choice increase of the earth 

Forms her joyous treat ; 
The primrose, St John's wort, 

Tops of gowans sweet, 
The new buds of the groves, 

The soft heath o'er which she roves, 
Are the tit-bits that she loves, 

With good cause too. 

For speckled, spotted, rare, 

Tall, and fine, and fair, 
From such food before her there 

She grows sonsily ; 
And it is still the surest mean 

To cure the weak ones and the lean, 
Who for any time have been 

Wasted, wan, and low. 



206 LYRA CELTICA 

Soon it would clothe their back 

With the garb which most they lack- 
That rich fat, which they can pack 
Most commodiously. 

She's a flighty young hind 

When leaves ward her, 
Nearer her haunts where they bind 

The brae border : 
Lightsome and urbane 

Is her gay heart, free of stain, 
Tho' rash head and somewhat vain 

Somewhat thoughtless. 

Yet her form, so full of grace, 

She keeps hiding in a place, 
Where the green glen shows no trace 

Of a falling off; 
But she's so healthy, and so clean 

So chaste where'er she 's seen 
Should you kiss her lips, I ween 

'Twould not cause you shame. 

Greatly prized is she, I know, 

By the stag with crested brow, 
Whose thundering hoofs around him throw 

Such a saucy sound ; 
When with him she meets the view 

Red and yellow in her hue, 
And of virtues not a few 

That belong to her, 
Then too is she free of fear, 

And in speed without a peer, 
And the primest ear to hear 

In all Europe's hers. 

Oh ! how sweetly they embrace, 

Young and fawning, 
When they gather to their place 

In the gloaming ; 



DUNCAN BAN MACINTYRE 207 

There, till silent night is by, 

Never terror comes them nigh, 
While beneath the bush they lie 

Their known haunt of old. 

Let the wild herd seek their bed, 

Let them slumber, free of dread, 
Where yon mighty moor is spread, 

Broad and brawly ; 
Where, with joy, I 've often spied 

The sun colour their red hide, 
As they wandered in their pride 

O'er Ben Dorain. 



208 LYRA CELTICA 

The Hill-Water. 

From the rim it trickles down 
Of the mountain's granite crown 

Clear and cool ; 
Keen and eager though it go 
Through your veins with lively flow, 
Yet it knoweth not to reign 
In the chambers of the brain 

With misrule ; 



Where dark water-cresses grow 
You will trace its quiet flow, 
With mossy border yellow, 
So mild, and soft, and mellow, 

In its pouring. 

With no shiny dregs to trouble 
The brightness of its bubble 
As it threads its silver way 
From the granite shoulders grey 

Of Ben Dorain. 

Then down the sloping side 
It will slip with glassy slide 

Gently welling, 

Till it gather strength to leap, 
With a light and foamy sweep, 
To the corrie broad and deep 

Proudly swelling ; 

Then bends amid the boulders, 
'Neath the shadow of the shoulders 

Of the Ben, 

Through a country rough and shaggy, 
So jaggy and so knaggy, 



DUNCAN BAN MACINTYRE 209 

Full of hummocks and of hunches, 
Full of stumps and tufts and bunches, 
Full of bushes and of rushes, 
In the glen, 

Through rich green solitudes, 
And wildly hanging woods 
With blossom and with bell, 
In rich redundant swell, 

And the pride 

Of the mountain daisy there, 
And the forest everywhere, 
With the dress and with the air 

Of a bride. 



210 MARY MACLEOD 

Song for Macleod of Macleod. 

Alone on the hill-top, 

Sadly and silently, 
Downward on Islay 

And over the sea 
I look and I wonder 

How time hath deceived me : 
A stranger in Muile* 

Who ne'er thought to be. 

Ne'er thought it, my island 1 

Where rests the deep dark shade 
Thy grand mossy mountains 

For ages have made 
God bless thee, and prosper ! 

Thy chief of the sharp blade, 
All over these islands, 

His fame never fade ! 

Never fade it, Sir Norman ! 

For well 'tis the right 
Of thy name to win credit 

In council or fight; 
By wisdom, by shrewdness, 

By spirit, by might, 
By manliness, courage, 

By daring, by sleight. 

In council or fight, thy kindred 

Know these should be thine 
Branch of Lochlin's wide-ruling 

And king-bearing line! 
And in Erin they know it 

Far over the brine: 
No Earl would in Albin 

Thy friendship decline. 



* Mull. 



MARY MACLEOD 211 

Yes ! the nobles of Erin 

Thy titles well know, 
To the honour and friendship 

Of high and of low. 
Born the deed-marks to follow, 

Thy father did show, 
That friend of the noble 

That manliest foe. 

That friend of the noble 

From him art thou heir 
To virtues which Albin 

Was proud to declare : 
Crown'd the best of her chieftains 

Long, long may'st thou wear 
The blossoms paternal 

His broad branches bare i 

O banner'd Clan Ruari 1 

Whose loss is my woe, 
Of this chief who survives 

May I ne'er hear he 's low ; 
But, darling of mortals ! 

From him though I go, 
Long the shapeliest, comeliest 

Form may he show ! 

The shapeliest, comeliest, 

Faultless in bearing 
Cheerful, cordial, and kind, 

The red and white wearing, 
Well looks the blue-eyed chief ; 

Blue, bright, and daring, 
His eye o'er his red cheek shines, 

Blue, bright, calmly daring. 

His red cheek shines, 

Like hip on the brier-tree, 
'Neath the choicest of curly hair 

Waving and free. 



212 LYRA CELTICA 

A warm hearth, a drinking cup, 

Meet shall he see, 
And a choice of good armour 

Whoe'er visits thee. 

Drinking-horns, trenchers bright, 

And arms old and new ; 
Long, narrow-bladed swords, 

Cold, clear, and blue 
These are seen in thy mansion, 

With rifles and carbines, too ; 
And hempen-strung long-bows, 

Of hard, healthy yew. 

Long-bows and cross-bows, 
With strings that well wear ; 

Arrows, with polish'd heads, 
In quivers full and fair, 

From the eagle's wing feather'd, 
With silk fine and rare ; 

And guns dear to purchase- 
Long slender are there. 

My heart "s with thee, hero ! 

May Mary's son keep 
My stripling who loves 

The lone forest to sweep ; 
Rejoicing to feel there 

The solitude deep 
Of the long moor and valley, 

And rough mountain steep. 

The mountain steep searching 

And rough rocky chains ; 
The old dogs he caresses, 

The young dogs he restrains : 
Then, soon from my chieftain's spear 

The life-blood rains 
Of the red-hided deer or doe 

And the green heather stains. 



MARY MACLEOD 213 

Fall the red stag, the white-bellied doe ; 

Then stand on the heather, 
Thy gentle companions, 

Well arm'd altogether, 
Well taught on the hunter's craft, 

Well skill'd in the weather ; 
They know the rough sea as well 

As the green heather ! 



Ill 

MODERN AND 
CONTEMPORARY 
SCOTO-CELTIC 



ANON. 217 

Monaltri. 

There 's a sound on the hill, 

Not of joy but of ailing ; 
Dark-hair'd women mourn 

Beat their hands, with loud wailing. 

They cry out, Ochon ! 

For the young Monaltri, 
Who went to the hill ; 

But home came not he. 

Without snood, without plaid 

Katrina's gone roaming. 
O Katrina, my dear! 

Homeward be coming. 

Och ! hear, on the castle 

Yon pretty bird singing, 
"Snoodless and plaidless, 
Her hands she is ringing." 



2i8 LYRA CELTICA 

An Coineachan A Highland 
Lullaby. 

H6-bhan, h6-bhan, Goiridh 6g O, 
Goiridh 6g O, Goiridh 6g O ; 
H6-bhan, h6-bhan, Goiridh 6g O, 
I 've lost my darling baby O ! 

I left my darling lying here, 
A-lying here, a-lying here ; 
I left my darling lying here, 

To go and gather blaeberries. 

I 've found the wee brown otter's track, 
The otter's track, the otter's track ; 
I 've found the wee brown otter's track, 
But ne'er a trace of baby O ! 

I found the track of the swan on the lake, 
The swan on the lake, the swan on the lake; 
I found the track of the swan on the lake, 
But not the track of baby 1 

I found the track of the yellow fawn, 
The yellow fawn, the yellow fawn ; 
I found the track of the yellow fawn, 
But could not trace my baby O I 

I 've found the trail of the mountain mist, 
The mountain mist, the mountain mist; 
I Ve found the trail of the mountain mist, 
But ne'er a trace of baby 1 



ANON. 219 

A Boat Song. 

Ho, my bonnie boatie, 
Thou bonnie boatie mine! 
So trim and tight a boatie 
Was never launched on brine. 
Ho, my bonnie boatie, 
My praise is justly thine 
Above all bonnie boaties 
Were builded on Loch Fyne 1 

Hb mo bhata laghach, 

'S tu mo bhata grinn ; 

Hb mo bhata laghach, 

'S tu mo bhata grinn. 

Hb mo bhata lagkach, 

'S tu mo bhata grinn : 

Mo bhata boidheach laghach, 

Thogadh taobh Loch Fin. 

To build thee up so firmly, 
I knew the stuff was good ; 
Thy keel of stoutest elm-tree, 
Well fixed in oaken wood ; 
Thy timbers ripely seasoned 
Of cleanest Norway pine 
Well cased in ruddy copper, 
To plough the deep were thine ! 
Hb mo bhata, etc. 

How lovely was my boatie 
At rest upon the shore, 
Before my bonnie boatie 
Had known wild ocean's roar. 
Thy deck so smooth and stainless, 
With such fine bend thy rim, 
Thy seams that know no gaping, 
Thy masts so tall and trim. 
Hb mo bhata, etc. 



220 LYRA CELTICA 

And bonnie was my boatie 
Afloat upon the bay, 
When smooth as mirror round her 
The heaving ocean lay ; 
While round the cradled boatie 
Light troops of plumy things 
To praise the bonnie boatie 
Made music with their wings. 
Hb mo bhclta, etc. 

How eager was my boatie 
To plough the swelling seas, 
When o'er the curling waters 
Full sharply blew the breeze ! 
O, 'twas she that stood to windward, 
The first among her peers, 
When shrill the blasty music 
Came piping round her ears ! 
Hb mo bh&ta, etc. 

And where the sea came surging 
In mountains from the west, 
And reared the racing billow 
Its high and hissing crest ; 
She turned her head so deftly, 
With skill so firmly shown, 
The billows they went their way 
The boatie went her own. 
Hb mo bhctta, etc. 

And when the sudden squall came 
Black swooping from the Ben, 
And white the foam was spinning 
Around thy topmast then, 
O never knew my boatie 
A thought of ugly dread, 
But dashed right through the billow, 
With the spray-shower round her headl 
Hb mo bhfoa, etc. 



ANON. 221 

Yet wert thou never headstrong 
To stand with forward will, 
When yielding was thy wisdom 
And caution was my skill. 
How neatly and how nimbly 
Thou turned thee to the wind, 
With thy leeside in the water 
And a swirling trail behind ! 
Hb mo bhata, etc. 

What though a lonely dwelling 

On barren shore I own, 

My kingdom is the blue wave, 

My boatie is my throne! 

I '11 never want a dainty dish 

To breakfast or to dine, 

While men may man my boatie 

And fish swim in Loch Fyne ! 

Hb mo bhata laghach, 

'S tu mo bhata grinn. 

Hb mo bhata laghach^ 

'S tu mo bhata grinn. 

Hb mo bhata laghach, 

'S tu mo bhata grinn: 

Mo bhata boidheach laghach, 

Thogadh taobh Loch Fin. 



222 JOHN STUART BLACKIE 

The Old Soldier of the 
Gareloch Head. 

I 've wander'd east and west, 

And a soldier I hae been ; 
The scars upon my breast 

Tell the wars that I have seen. 
But now I 'm old and worn, 

And my locks are thinly spread, 
And I 'm come to die in peace, 

By the Gareloch Head. 

When I was young and strong, 

Oft a wandering I would go, 
By the rough shores of Loch Long, 

Up to lone Glencroe. 
But now I 'm fain to rest, 

And my resting-place I 've made, 
On the green and gentle bosom 

Of the Gareloch Head. 

'Twas here my Jeanie grew, 

Like a lamb amid the flocks, 
With her eyes of bonnie blue, 

And her gowden locks. 
And here we often met, 

When with lightsome foot we sped, 
O'er the green and grassy knolls 

At the Gareloch Head. 

'Twas here she pined and died 

O ! the salt tear in my e'e 
Forbids my heart to hide 

What Jeanie was to me! 
'Twas here my Jeanie died, 

And they scoop'd her lowly bed, 
'Neath the green and grassy turf 

At the Gareloch Head. 



JOHN STUART BLACKIE 223 

Like a leaf in leafy June, 

From the leafy forest torn, 
She fell, and I '11 fall soon 

Like a sheaf of yellow corn. 
For I 'm sere and weary now, 

And I soon shall make my bed 
With my Jeanie 'neath the turf 

At the Gareloch Head. 



224 ROBERT BUCHANAN 
Flower of the World. 

Wherever men sinned and wept, 
I wandered in my quest ; 
At last in a Garden of God 
I saw the Flower of the World. 

This Flower had human eyes, 

Its breath was the breath of the mouth ; 

Sunlight and starlight came, 

And the Flower drank bliss from both. 

Whatever was base and unclean, 
Whatever was sad and strange, 
Was piled around its roots ; 
It drew its strength from the same. 

Whatever was formless and base 
Pass'd into fineness and form ; 
Whatever was lifeless and mean 
Grew into beautiful bloom. 

Then I thought "O Flower of the World, 
Miraculous Blossom of things, 
Light as a faint wreath of snow 
Thou trembles! to fall in the wind : 

"O beautiful Flower of the World, 
Fall not nor wither away ; 
He is coming He cannot be far 
The Lord of the Flow'rs and the Stars." 

And I cried, " O Spirit divine t 
That walkest the Garden unseen, 
Come hither, and bless, ere it dies, 
The beautiful Flower of the World." 



ROBERT BUCHANAN 225 
The Strange Country. 

I have come from a mystical Land of Light 

To a Strange Country ; 
The Land I have left is forgotten quite 

In the Land I see. 



The round Earth rolls beneath my feet, 

And the still Stars glow, 
The murmuring Waters rise and retreat, 

The Winds come and go. 

Sure as a heart-beat all things seem 

In this Strange Country; 
So sure, so still, in a dazzle of dream, 

All things flow free. 

'Tis life, all life, be it pleasure or pain, 

In the Field and the Flood, 
In the beating Heart, in the burning Brain, 

In the Flesh and the Blood. 

Deep as Death is the daily strife 

Of this Strange Country : 
All things thrill up till they blossom in Life, 

And flutter and flee. 

Nothing is stranger than the rest, 

From the pole to the pole, 
The weed by the way, the eggs in the nest, 

The Flesh and the Soul. 

Look in mine eyes, O Man I meet 

In this Strange Country 1 
Lie in my arms, O Maiden sweet, 

With thy mouth kiss me! 
p 



226 LYRA CELTICA 

Go by, O King, with thy crowned brow 

And thy sceptred hand 
Thou art a straggler too, I vow, 

From the same strange Land. 

O wondrous Faces that upstart 
In this Strange Country 1 

Souls, O Shades, that become a part 
Of my Soul and me ! 

What are ye working so fast and fleet, 

O Humankind? 

"We aflre building Cities for those whose feet 
Are coming behind ; 

"Our stay is short, we must fly again 

From this Strange Country; 
But others are growing, women and men, 
Eternally!" 

Child, what art thou? and what am 7? 

But a breaking wave 1 
Rising and rolling on, we hie 

To the shore of the grave. 

1 have come from a mystical Land of Light 
To this Strange Country ; 

This dawn I came, I shall go to-night, 
Ay me ! ay me ! 

I hold my hand to my head and stand 

'Neath the air's blue arc, 
I try to remember the mystical Land, 

But all is dark. 

And all around me swim Shapes like mine 

In this Strange Country; 
They break in the glamour of gleams divine, 

And they moan "Ay me!" 



ROBERT BUCHANAN 227 

Like waves in the cold Moon's silvern breath 

They gather and roll, 
Each crest of white is a birth or a death, 

Each sound is a Soul. 

Oh, whose is the Eye that gleams so bright 

O'er this Strange Country? 
It draws us along with a chain of light, 

As the Moon the Sea! 



228 LYRA CELTICA 

The Dream of the World without 
Death. 

Now, sitting by her side, worn out with weeping, 
Behold, I fell to sleep, and had a vision, 
Wherein I heard a wondrous Voice intoning : 

Crying aloud, " The Master on His throne 

Openeth now the seventh seal of wonder, 

And beckoneth back the angel men name Death. 

And at His feet the mighty Angel kneel eth, 
Breathing not ; and the Lord doth look upon him, 
Saying, 'Thy wanderings on earth are ended."' 

And lo ! the mighty Shadow sitteth idle 
Even at the silver gates of heaven, 
Drowsily looking in on quiet waters, 
And puts his silence among men no longer. 

* 

The world was very quiet. Men in traffic 
Cast looks over their shoulders ; pallid seamen 
Shivered to walk upon the decks alone; 

And women barred their doors with bars of iron, 
In the silence of the night ; and at the sunrise 
Trembled behind the husbandmen afield. 

I could not see a kirkyard near or far ; 
I thirsted for a green grave, and my vision 
Was weary for the white gleam of a tombstone. 

But hearkening dumbly, ever and anon 
I heard a cry out of a human dwelling, 
And felt the cold wind of a lost one's going. 

One struck a brother fiercely, and he fell, 
And faded in a darkness ; and that other 
Tore his hair, and was afraid, and could not perish. 



ROBERT BUCHANAN 229 

One struck his aged mother on the mouth, 

And she vanished with a gray grief from his hearth- 

stone. 
One melted from her bairn, and on the ground 

With sweet unconscious eyes the bairn lay smiling. 
And many made a weeping among mountains, 
And hid themselves in caverns, and were drunken. 

I heard a voice from out the beauteous earth, 
Whose side rolled up from winter into summer, 
Crying, "I am grievous for my children." 

I heard a voice from out the hoary ocean, 
Crying, "Burial in the breast of me were better, 
Yea, burial in the salt flags and green crystals." 

I heard a voice from out the hollow ether, 

Saying, "The thing ye cursed hath been abolished 

Corruption, and decay, and dissolution 1 " 

And the world shrieked, and the summer-time was 

bitter, 

And men and women feared the air behind them ; 
And for lack of its green graves the world was hateful. 



Now at the bottom of a snowy mountain 
I came upon a woman thin with sorrow, 
Whose voice was like the crying of a sea-gull 

Saying, "O Angel of the Lord, come hither, 
And bring me him I seek for on thy bosom, 
That I may close his eyelids and embrace him. 

"I curse thee that I cannot look upon him! 
I curse thee that I know not he is sleeping! 
Yet know that he has vanished upon God ( 



230 LYRA CELTICA 

" I laid my little girl upon a wood-bier, 
And very sweet she seemed, and near unto me ; 
And slipping flowers into her shroud was comfort. 

" I put my silver mother in the darkness, 
And kissed her, and was solaced by her kisses, 
And set a stone, to mark the place, above her. 

" And green, green were their quiet sleeping places, 
So green that it was pleasant to remember 
That I and my tall man would sleep beside them. 

" The closing of dead eyelids is not dreadful, 
For comfort comes upon us when we close them, 
And tears fall, and our sorrow grows familiar ; 

" And we can sit above them where they slumber, 
And spin a dreamy pain into a sweetness, 
And know indeed that we are very near them. 

" But to reach out empty arms is surely dreadful, 
And to feel the hollow empty world is awful, 
And bitter grow the silence and the distance. 

" There is no space for grieving or for weeping ; 
No touch, no cold, no agony to strive with, 
And nothing but a horror and a blankness I " 



Now behold I saw a woman in a mud-hut 
Raking the white spent embers with her fingers, 
And fouling her bright hair with the white ashes. 

Her mouth was very bitter with the ashes ; 

Her eyes with dust were blinded ; and her sorrow 

Sobbed in the throat of her like gurgling water. 

And, all around, the voiceless hills were hoary, 
But red light scorched their edges ; and above her 
There was a soundless trouble of the vapours. 



ROBERT BUCHANAN 231 

" Whither, and O whither," said the woman, 
" O Spirit of the Lord, hast Thou conveyed them, 
My little ones, my little son and daughter? 

" For, lo ! we wandered forth at early morning, 
And winds were blowing round us, and their mouths 
Blew rose-buds to the rose-buds, and their eyes 

" Looked violets at the violets, and their hair 
Made sunshine in the sunshine, and their passing 
Left a pleasure in the dewy leaves behind them ; 

" And suddenly my little son looked upward, 
And his eyes were dried like dew-drops ; and his going 
Was like a blow of fire upon my face. 

" And my little son was gone. My little daughter 
Looked round me for him, clinging to my vesture ; 
But the Lord had drawn him from me, and I knew it 

" By the sign He gives the stricken, that the lost one 
Lingers nowhere on the earth, on hill or valley, 
Neither underneath the grasses nor the tree-roots. 

" And my shriek was like the splitting of an ice-reef, 
And I sank among my hair, and all my palm 
Was moist and warm where the little hand had filled it. 

" Then I fled and sought him wildly, hither and thither 
Though I knew that he was stricken from me wholly 
By the token that the Spirit gives the stricken. 

" I sought him in the sunlight and the starlight, 
I sought him in great forests, and in waters 
Where I saw mine own pale image looking at me. 

" And I forgot my little bright-haired daughter, 
Though her voice was like a wild-bird's far behind me, 
Till the voice ceased, and the universe was silent. 



232 LYRA CELTICA 

" And stilly, in the starlight, came I backward 
To the forest where I missed him ; and no voices 
Brake the stillness as I stooped down in the starlight, 

" And saw two little shoes filled up with dew, 
And no mark of little footsteps any farther, 
And knew my little daughter had gone also." 

* 

But beasts died ; yea, the cattle in the yoke, 
The milk-cow in the meadow, and the sheep, 
And the dog upon the doorstep : and men envied. 

And birds died ; yea, the eagle at the sun-gate, 

The swan upon the waters, and the farm-fowl, 

And the swallows on the housetops : and men envied. 

And reptiles ; yea, the toad upon the roadside, 
The slimy, speckled snake among the grass, 
The lizard on the ruin : and men envied. 

The dog in lonely places cried not over 
The body of his master ; but it missed him, 
And whined into the air, and died, and rotted. 

The traveller's horse lay swollen in the pathway, 
And the blue fly fed upon it; but no traveller 
Was there ; nay, not his footprint on the ground. 

The cat mewed in the midnight, and the blind 
Gave a rustle, and the lamp burned blue and faint, 
And the father's bed was empty in the morning. 

The mother fell to sleep beside the cradle, 
Rocking it, while she slumbered, with her foot, 
And wakened, and the cradle there was empty. 

I saw a two-years' child, and he was playing ; 
And he found a dead white bird upon the doorway, 
And laughed, and ran to show it to his mother. 



ROBERT BUCHANAN 233 

The mother moaned, and clutched him, and was bitter, 
And flung the dead white bird across the threshold ; 
And another white bird flitted round and round it, 

And uttered a sharp cry, and twittered and twittered, 
And lit beside its dead mate, and grew busy, 
Strewing it over with green leaves and yellow. 

* 

So far, so far to seek for were the limits 
Of affliction ; and men's terror grew a homeless 
Terror, yea, and a fatal sense of blankness. 

There was no little token of distraction, 
There was no visible presence of bereavement, 
Such as the mourner easeth out his heart on. 

There was no comfort in the slow farewell, 

Nor gentle shutting of beloved eyes, 

Nor beautiful breedings over sleeping features. 

There were no kisses on familiar faces, 

No weaving of white grave-clothes, no last pondering 

Over the still wax cheeks and folded fingers. 

There was no putting tokens under pillows, 
There was no dreadful beauty slowly fading, 
Fading like moonlight softly into darkness. 

There were no churchyard paths to walk on, thinking 

How near the well-beloved ones are lying. 

There were no sweet green graves to sit and muse on, 

Till grief should grow a summer meditation, 
The shadow of the passing of an angel, 
And sleeping should seem easy, and not cruel. 

Nothing but wondrous parting and a blankness. 



234 LYRA CELTICA 

* 

But I -woke, 

And, lo I the burthen was uplifted, 
And I prayed within the chamber where she slumbered, 
And my tears flowed fast and free, but were not bitter. 

I eased my heart three days by watching near her, 
And made her pillow sweet with scent and flowers, 
And could bear at last to put her in the darkness. 

And I heard the kirk-bells ringing very slowly, 

And the priests were in their vestments, and the earth 

Dripped awful on the hard wood, yet I bore it 

And I cried, "O unseen Sender of Corruption, 
I bless 'Thee for the wonder of Thy mercy, 
Which softeneth the mystery and the parting. 

" I bless Thee for the change and for the comfort, 
The bloomless face, shut eyes, and waxen fingers, 
For Sleeping, and for Silence, and Corruption." 



ROBERT BUCHANAN 235 
The Faery Foster- Mother. 

Bright Eyes, Light Eyes 1 Daughter of a Fay 1 

I had not been a wedded wife a twelvemonth and a 

day, 

I had not nurs'd my little one a month upon my knee, 
When down among the blue-bell banks rose elfins three 

times three, 
They gripp'd me by the raven hair, I could not cry for 

fear, 
They put a hempen rope around my waist and dragg'd 

me here, 
They made me sit and give thee suck as mortal mothers 

can, 
Bright Eyes, Light Eyes ! strange and weak and wan ! 



Dim Face, Grim Face ! lie ye there so still ? 

Thy red, red lips are at my breast, and thou may'st 

suck thy fill ; 
But know ye, tho' I hold thee firm, and rock thee to 

and fro, 
'Tis not to soothe thee into sleep, but just to still my 

woe? 
And know ye, when I lean so calm against the wall of 

stone, 
'Tis when I shut my eyes and try to think thou art 

mine own ? 
And know ye, tho' my milk be here, my heart is far 

away, 
Dim Face, Grim Face ! Daughter of a Fay ! 

Gold Hair, Cold Hair 1 Daughter to a King ! 
Wrapp'd in bands of snow-white silk with jewels 

glittering, 

Tiny slippers of the gold upon thy feet so thin, 
Silver cradle velvet-lin'd for thee to slumber in, 



236 LYRA CELTICA 

Pygmy pages, crimson-hair'd, to serve thee on their 

knees, 
To fan thy face with ferns and bring thee honey bags 

of bees, 

I was but a peasant lass, my babe had but the milk, 
Gold Hair, Cold Hair ! raimented in silk 1 

Pale Thing, Frail Thing ! dumb and weak and thin, 
Altho' them ne'er dost utter sigh thou'rt shadow'd with 

a sin; 

Thy minnie scorns to suckle thee, thy minnie is an elf, 
Upon a bed of rose's-leaves she lies and fans herself; 
And though my heart is aching so for one afar from 

me, 

I often look into thy face and drop a tear for thee, 
And I am but a peasant born, a lowly cottar's wife, 
Pale Thing, Frail Thing I sucking at my life ! 

Weak Thing, Meek Thing! take no blame from me, 
Altho' my babe may moan for lack of what I give to 

thee; 
For though thou art a faery child, and though thou art 

my woe, 
To feel thee sucking at my breast is all the bliss I 

know; 
It soothes me, though afar away I hear my daughter 

call, 

My heart were broken if I felt no little lips at all! 
If I had none to tend at all, to be its nurse and slave, 
Weak Thing, Meek Thing! I should shriek and rave! 

Bright Eyes, Light Eyes ! lying on my knee I 
If soon I be not taken back unto mine own countree, 
To feel my own babe's little lips, as I am feeling thine, 
To smooth the golden threads of hair, to see the blue 
eyes shine, 



ROBERT BUCHANAN 237 

I '11 lean my head against the wall and close my weary 

eyes, 
And think my own babe draws the milk with balmy 

pants and sighs, 
And smile and bless my little one and sweetly pass 

away, 
Bright Eyes, Light Eyes ! Daughter of a Fay 1 



238 LORD BYRON 

When we Two parted. 

When we two parted 

In silence and tears, 
Half-broken-hearted 

To sever for years, 
Pale grew thy cheek and cold, 

Colder thy kiss ; 
Truly that hour foretold 

Sorrow to this. 

The dew of the morning 

Sank chill on my brow 
It felt like the warning 

Of what I feel now. 
Thy vows are all broken, 

And light is thy fame ; 
I hear thy name spoken, 

And share in its shame. 

They name thee before me, 

A knell to mine ear ; 
A shudder comes o'er me 

Why wert thou so dear? 
They know not I knew thee, 

Who knew thee too well : 
Long, long shall I rue thee, 

Too deeply to tell. 

In secret we met 

In silence I grieve, 
That thy heart could forget, 

Thy spirit deceive. 
If I should meet thee 

After long years, 
How shall I greet thee ? 

With silence and tears. 



LORD BYRON 239 

Stanzas for Music. 

There be none of Beauty's daughters 

With a magic like thee ; 
And like music on the waters 

Is thy sweet voice to me : 
When, as if its sound were causing 
The charmed ocean's pausing, 
The waves lie still and gleaming, 
And the lull'd winds seem dreaming. 

And the midnight moon is weaving 

Her bright chain o'er the deep ; 
Whose breast is gently heaving, 

As an infant's asleep : 
So the spirit bows before thee, 
To listen and adore thee ; 
With a full but soft emotion, 
Like the swell of Summer's ocean. 



240 CRO' CHAILLEAN 

Colin's Cattle. 
(Crodh Chaillean.) 

A maiden sang sweetly 
As a bird on a tree, 
Cro' Chaillean, Cro' Chaillean, 
Cro' Chaillean for me! 

My own Colin's cattle, 
Dappled, dun, brown, and grey, 
They return to the milking 
At the close of the day. 

In the morning they wander 

To their pastures afar, 

Where the grass grows the greenest 

By corrie and scaur. 

They wander the uplands 
Where the soft breezes blow, 
And they drink from the fountain 
Where the sweet cresses grow. 

But so far as they wander, 
Dappled, dun, brown, and grey, 
They return to the milking 
At the close of the day. 

My bed 's in the Shian 
On the canach's soft down, 
But I 'd sleep best with Colin 
In our shieling alone. 

Thus a maiden sang sweetly 
As a bird on a tree, 
Cro' Chaillean, Cro' Chaillean, 
Cro' Chaillean for me. 



CUMHA MHIC CRUIMEIN 241 
MacCrimmon's Lament. 

Round Coolin's peak the mist is sailing, 
The banshee croons her note of wailing, 
Mild blue eyne with sorrow are streaming 
For him that shall never return, MacCrimmon ! 

The breeze on the brae is mournfully blowing ! 
The brook in the hollow is plaintively flowing, 
The warblers, the soul of the groves, are moaning, 
For MacCrimmon that 's gone, with no hope of returning ! 

The tearful clouds the stars are veiling, 
The sails are spread, but the boat is not sailing, 
The waves of the sea are moaning and mourning 
For MacCrimmon that 's gone to find no returning ! 

No more on the hill at the festal meeting 
The pipe shall sound with echo repeating, 
And lads and lasses change mirth to mourning 
For him that is gone to know no returning ! 

No more, no more, no more for ever, 

In war or peace, shall return MacCrimmon ; 

No more, no more, no more for ever 

Shall love or gold bring back MacCrimmon 1 



242 IAN CAMERON 

("Ian Mor") 

Song. 

Thy dark eyes to mine, Aithne, 

Lamps of desire ! 
O how my soul leaps 

Leaps to their fire ! 

Sure, now, if I in heaven 

Dreaming in bliss, 
Heard but the whisper, 
But the lost echo even 

Of one such kiss- 
All of the Soul of me 

Would leap afar 
If that called me to thee, 
Aye, I would leap afar 

A falling star I 



JOHN DAVIDSON 243 

A Loafer. 

I hang about the streets all day, 

At night I hang about ; 
I sleep a little when I may, 

But rise betimes the morning's scout ; 
For through the year I always hear 

Afar, aloft, a ghostly shout. 

My clothes are worn to threads and loops ; 

My skin shows here and there ; 
About my face like seaweed droops 

My tangled beard, my tangled hair ; 
From cavernous and shaggy brows 

My stony eyes untroubled stare. 

I move from eastern wretchedness 
Through Fleet Street and the Strand ; 

And as the pleasant people press 
I touch them softly with my hand, 

Perhaps I know that still I go 
Alive about a living land. 

For, far in front the clouds are riven ; 

I hear the ghostly cry, 
As if a still voice fell from heaven 

To where sea-whelmed the drowned folk lie 
In sepulchres no tempest stirs 

And only eyeless things pass by. 

In Piccadilly spirits pass: 

Oh, eyes and cheeks that glow! 
Oh, strength and comeliness 1 Alas, 

The lustrous health is earth I know 
From shrinking eyes that recognise 

No brother in my rags and woe. 

I know no handicraft, no art, 
But I have conquered fate ; 



244 LYRA CELTICA 

For I have chosen the better part, 
And neither hope, nor fear, nor hate. 

With placid breath on pain and death, 
My certain alms, alone I wait 

And daily, nightly comes the call, 

The pale unechoing note, 
The faint "Aha!" sent from the wall 

Of heaven, but from no ruddy throat 
Of human breed or seraph's seed, 

A phantom voice that cries by rote. 



JOHN DAVIDSON 245 

In Romney Marsh. 

As I went down to Dymchurch Wall, 
I heard the South sing o'er the land ; 

I saw the yellow sunlight fall 
On knolls where Norman churches stand. 

And ringing shrilly, taut and lithe, 

Within the wind a core of sound, 
The wire from Romney town to Hythe 

Along its airy journey wound. 

A veil of purple vapour flowed 
And trailed its fringe along the Straits ; 

The upper air like sapphire glowed : 
And roses filled Heaven's central gates. 

Masts in the offing wagged their tops ; 

The swinging waves pealed on the shore ; 
The saffron beach, all diamond drops 

And beads of surge, prolonged the roar. 

As I came up from Dymchurch Wall, 

I saw above the Downs' low crest 
The crimson brands of sunset fall, 

Flicker and fade from out the West 

Night sank : like flakes of silver fire 
The stars in one great shower came down ; 

Shrill blew the wind ; and shrill the wire 
Rang out from Hythe to Romney town. 

The darkly shining salt sea drops 

Streamed as the waves clashed on the shore ; 
The beach, with all its organ stops 

Pealing again, prolonged the roar. 



246 JEAN GLOVER 

O'er the Muir amang the Heather. 

Comin* through the craigs o' Kyle, 
Amang the bonnie bloomin' heather, 

There I met a bonnie lassie, 
Keepin' a' her ewes thegither. 

O'er the muir amang the heather, 
O'er the muir amang the heather, 
There I met a bonnie lassie 
Keepin' a' her ewes thegither. 

Says I, My dear, where is thy name ? 

In muir or dale, pray tell me whether? 
Says she, I tent the fleecy flocks 

That feed amang the bloomin' heather. 
O'er the muir, etc. 

We laid us down upon a bank, 
Sae warm and sunnie was the weather ; 

She left her flocks at large to rove 
Amang the bonnie bloomin' heather. 
O'er the muir, etc. 

While thus we lay, she sang a sang, 
Till echo rang a mile and further ; 

And aye the burden of the sang 
Was, O'er the muir amang the heather. 
O'er the muir, etc. 

She charmed my heart, and aye sin syne 

I couldna' think on ony ither ; 
By sea and sky ! she shall be mine, 

The bonnie lass amang the heather. 

O'er the muir amang the heather, 
O'er the muir amang the heather, 
There I met a bonnie lassie 
Keepin' a' her flocks thegither. 



GEORGE MACDONALD 247 
Song. 

Once I was a child, 

Oime! 
Full of frolic wild ; 

Ota* I 

All the stars for glancing, 
All the earth for dancing ; 

Dime! dime! 

When I ran about, 

Oime! 
All the flowers came out, 

Oime! 

Here and there like stray things, 
Just to be my playthings. 

Oime! Oime! 

Mother's eyes were deep, 

Oime! 
Never needing sleep. 

Oime! 

Morning they're above me! 
Eventide they love me ! 

Oime ! Oime ! 

Father was so tall ! 

Oime! 
Stronger he than all ! 

Oime! 

On his arm he bore me, 
Queen of all before me. 

Oime! Oime! 

Mother is asleep! 

Oime! 
For her eyes so deep, 

Oime! 



248 LYRA CELTICA 

Grew so tired and aching, 
They could not keep waking, 
Dime 1 Dime ! 

Father though so strong 

Dime! 
Laid him down along 

Dime! 

By my mother sleeping ; 
And they left me weeping, 

Dime! Oimel 

Now nor bird, nor bee, 

Dime! 
Ever sings to me ! 

Oimel 

Since they left me crying, 
All things have been dying. 

Dime ! Dime ! 



RONALD CAMPBELL MACFIE 249 
Song. 

Alas, alas, eheul 

That the sky is only blue, 

To gather from the grass 
The rain and dew ! 

Alas ! that eyes are fair : 
That tears may gather there 

Mist and the breath of sighs 
From the marsh of care 1 

Alas, alas, eheu! 

That we meet but to bid adieu : 

That the sands in Time's ancient glass 
Are so swift and few ! 

Alas, alas, eheu ! 

That the heart is only true 

To gather, where false feet pass, 
The thorn and rue 1 



250 WILLIAM MACDONALD 
A Spring Trouble. 

All the meadowlands were gay 
Once upon a morn of May ; 
All the tree of life was dight 
With the blossoms of delight 

And my whole heart was a-tune 
With the songs of long ere noon 
Dew-bedecked and fresh and free, 
As the unsunned meadows be. 

"Lot" I said unto my spirit, 

" Earth and sky thou dost inherit" 

Forth I wandered, void of care, 

In the largesse of the air. 

By there came a damosel, 

At a look I loved her well: 

But she passed and would not stay 

And all the rest has gone away. 

And now no fields are fair to see, 
Nor any bud on any tree ; 
Nor have I share in earth or sky 
All for a maiden's passing by ! 



AMICE MACDONELL 251 

Culloden Moor. 
(Seen in Autumn Rain.) 

Full of grief, the low winds sweep 

O'er the sorrow-haunted ground ; 
Dark the woods where night rains weep, 

Dark the hills that watch around. 

Tell me, can the joy of spring 

Ever make this sadness flee, 
Make the woods with music ring, 

And the streamlet laugh for glee? 

When the summer moor is lit 

With the pale fire of the broom, 
And through green the shadows flit, 

Still shall mirth give place to gloom? 

Sad shall it be, though sun be shed 

Golden bright on field and flood ; 
E'en the heather's crimson red 

Holds the memory of blood. 

Here that broken, weary band 

Met the ruthless foe's array, 
Where those moss-grown boulders stand, 

On that dark and fatal day. 

Like a phantom hope had fled, 

Love to death was all in vain, 
Vain, though heroes' blood was shed, 

And though hearts were broke in twain. 

Many a voice has cursed the name 

Time has into darkness thrust, 
Cruelty his only fame 

In forgetfulness and dust, 

Noble dead that sleep below, 

We your valour ne'er forget; 
Soft the heroes' rest who know 

Hearts like theirs are beating yet. 



252 ALICE C. MACDONELL 
The Weaving of the Tartan. 

I saw an old Dame weaving, 

Weaving, weaving, 

I saw an old Dame weaving, 

A web of tartan fine. 

"Sing high," she said, "sing low," she said, 
"Wild torrent to the sea, 

That saw my exiled bairnies torn, 

In sorrow far frae me. 

And warp well the long threads, 

The bright threads, the strong threads ; 

Woof well the cross threads, 

To make the colours shine." 



She wove in red for every deed, 
Of valour done for Scotia's need : 
She wove in green, the laurel's sheen, 
In memory of her glorious dead. 
She spake of Alma's steep incline, 
The desert march, the "thin red line," 
Of how it fired the blood and stirred the heart, 
Where'er a bairn of hers took part. 
" 'Tis for the gallant lads," she said, 
" Who wear the kilt and tartan plaid : 
'Tis for the winsome lasses too, 
Just like my dainty bells of blue. 
So weave well the bright threads, 
The red threads, the green threads ; 
Woof well the strong threads 
That bind their hearts to mine." 



I saw an old Dame sighing, 
Sighing, sighing ; 
I saw an old Dame sighing, 
Beside a lonely glen. 



ALICE C. MACDONELL 253 

"Sing high," she said, "sing low," she said, 
"Wild tempests to [the sea, 

The wailing of the pibroch's note, 

That bade farewell to me. 

And wae fa' the red deer, 

The swift deer, the strong deer, 

Wae fa' the cursed deer, 

That take the place o' men." 

Where'er a noble deed is wrought, 

Where'er the brightest realms of thought, 

The artists' skill, the martial thrill, 

Be sure to Scotia's land is wed. 

She casts the glamour of her name, 

O'er Britain's throne and statesman's fame ; 

From distant lands 'neath foreign names, 

Some brilliant son his birthright claims. 

For ah I she has reared them amid tempests, 

And cradled them in snow, 

To give the Scottish arms their strength, 

Their hearts a kindly glow. 

So weave well the bright threads, 

The red threads, the green threads, 

Woof well the strong threads 

That bind their hearts to thine. 



254 W. MACGILLIVRAY 

The Thrush's Song. 

(From the Gaelic.) 

Dear, dear, dear, 

In the rocky glen, 

Far away, far away, far away 

The haunts of men ; 

There shall we dwell in love 

With the lark and the dove, 

Cuckoo and corn-rail, 

Feast on the bearded snail, 

Worm and gilded fly, 

Drink of the crystal rill 

Winding adown the hill 

Never to dry. 

With glee, with glee, with glee 

Cheer up, cheer up, cheer up here; 
Nothing to harm us, then sing merrily, 

Sing to the loved one whose nest is near. 

Qui, qui, queen, quip ; 
Tiurru, tiurru, chipiwi, 
Too-tee, too-tee, chin-choo, 
Chirri, chirri, chooee 
Quin, qui, qui! 






FIONA MACLEOD 255 

The Prayer of Women. 

O Spirit, that broods upon the hills 

And moves upon the face of the deep, 

And is heard in the wind, 

Save us from the desire of men's eyes, 

And the cruel lust of them, 

And the springing of the cruel seed 

In that narrow house which is as the grave 

For darkness and loneliness . . . 

That women carry with them with shame, and weariness, 

and long pain, 

Only for the laughter of man's heart, 
And the joy that triumphs therein, 
And the sport that is in his heart, 
Wherewith he mocketh us, 
Wherewith he playeth with us, 
Wherewith he trampleth upon us ... 
Us, who conceive and bear him ; 
Us, who bring him forth ; 
Who feed him in the womb, and at the breast, and at 

the knee : 

Whom he calleth mother and wife, 
And mother again of his children and his children's 

children. 

Ah, hour of the hours, 

When he looks at our hair and sees it is grey ; 
And at our eyes and sees they are dim ; 
And at our lips straightened out with long pain ; 
And at our breasts, fallen and seared as a barren hill ; 
And at our hands, worn with toil ! 
Ah, hour of the hours, 
When, seeing, he seeth all the bitter ruin and wreck of 

us 

All save the violated womb that curses him 
All save the heart that forbeareth ... for pity- 
All save the living brain that condemneth him 



256 LYRA CELTICA 

All save the spirit that shall not mate with him 

All save the soul he shall never see 

Till he be one with it, and equal ; 

He who hath the bridle, but guideth not ; 

He who hath the whip, yet is driven ; 

He who as a shepherd calleth upon us, 

But is himself a lost sheep, crying among the hills ! 

O Spirit, and the Nine Angels who watch us, 

And Thy Son, and Mary Virgin, 

Heal us of the wrong of man : 

We, whose breasts are weary with milk, 

Cry, cry to Thee, O Compassionate ! 



FIONA MACLEOD 257 

The Rune of Age. 

O Thou that on the hills and wastes of Night art 

Shepherd, 

Whose folds are flameless moons and icy planets, 
Whose darkling way is gloomed with ancient sorrows : 
Whose breath lies white as snow upon the olden, 
Whose sigh it is that furrows breasts grown milkless, 
Whose weariness is in the loins of man 
And is the barren stillness of the woman : 
O thou whom all would 'scape, and all must meet, 
Thou that the Shadow art of Youth Eternal, 
The gloom that is the hush'd air of the Grave, 
The sigh that is between last parted love, 
The light for aye withdrawing from weary eyes, 
The tide from stricken hearts forever ebbing ! 

O thou the Elder Brother whom none loveth, 

Whom all men hail with reverence or mocking, 

Who broodest on the brows of frozen summits 

Yet dreamest in the eyes of babes and children : 

Thou, Shadow of the Heart, the Brain, the Life, 

Who art that dusk What-is that is already H as-Been, 

To thee this rune of the fathers-to-the-sons 

And of the sons to the sons, and mothers to new 

mothers 

To thee who art Aois, 
To thee who art Age ! 

Breathe thy frosty breath upon my hair, for I am weary 1 
Lay thy frozen hand upon my bones that they support 

not, 

Put thy chill upon the blood that it sustain not ; 
Place the crown of thy fulfilling on my forehead ; 
Throw the silence of thy spirit on my spirit, 
Lay the balm and benediction of thy mercy 
On the brain-throb and the heart-pulse and the life- 
spring 

R 



258 LYRA CELTICA 

For thy child that bows his head is weary, 

For thy child that bows his head is weary. 

I the shadow am that seeks the Darkness. 

Age, that hath the face of Night unstarr'd and moonless, 

Age, that doth extinguish star and planet, 

Moon and sun and all the fiery worlds, 

Give me now thy darkness and thy silence 1 



FIONA MACLEOD 259 

A Milking Song. 

O sweet St Bride of the 

Yellow, yellow hair: 
Paul said, and Peter said, 
And all the saints alive or dead 
Vowed she had the sweetest head, 
Bonnie, sweet St Bride of the 

Yellow, yellow hair. 

White may my milking be, 

White as thee : 

Thy face is white, thy neck is white, 
Thy hands are white, thy feet are white, 
For thy sweet soul is shining bright 

O dear to me, 

O dear to see 

St Bridget white ! 



Yellow may my butter be, 

Soft, and round : 
Thy breasts are sweet, 
Soft, round and sweet, 
So may my butter be : 
So may my butter be O 

Bridget sweet! 

Safe thy way is, safe, O 

Safe, St Bride: 

May my kye come home at even, 
None be fallin' none be leavin', 
Dusky even, breath-sweet even, 
Here, as there, where O 

St Bride thou 

Keepest tryst with God in heav'n, 
Seest the angels bow 



260 LYRA CELTICA 

And souls be shriven 

Here, as there, 'tis breath-sweet even 

Far and wide 
Singeth thy little maid 
Safe in thy shade 

Bridget, Bride I 



FIONA MACLEOD 261 

Lullaby. 

Lennavan-rao, 

Lennavan-mo, 

Who is it swinging you to and fro, 

With a long low swing and a sweet low croon, 

And the loving words of the mother's rune ? 

Lennavan-mo, 
Lennavan-mo, 

Who is it swinging you to and fro? 
I 'm thinking it is an angel fair, 

The Angel that looks on the gulf from the lowest stair 
And swings the green world upward by its leagues of 
sunshine hair. 

Lennavan-mo, 

Lennavan-mo, 

Who is it swings you and the Angel to and fro? 

It is He whose faintest thought is a world afar, 

It is He whose wish is a leaping seven-moon'd star, 

It is He, Lennavan-mo, 

To whom you and I and all things flow. 

Lennavan-mo, 

Lennavan-mo, 

It is only a little wee lass you are, Eilidh-mo-chree, 

But as this wee blossom has roots in the depths of the 

sky, 

So you are at one with the Lord of Eternity 
Bonnie wee lass that you are, 
My morning-star, 
Eilidh-mo-chree, Lennavan-mo, 
Lennavan-mo. 



262 LYRA CELTICA 

The Songs of Ethlenn Stuart, 
i. 

His face was glad as dawn to me, 
His breath was sweet as dusk to me, 
His eyes were burning flames to me, 
Shule, Shule, Shule, agrhh ! 

The broad noon-day was night to me, 
The full-moon night was dark to me, 
The stars whirled and the poles span 
The hour God took him far from me. 

Perhaps he dreams in heaven now, 

Perhaps he doth in worship bow, 

A white flame round his foam-white brow, 

Shule, Shule, Shule, agrah! 

I laugh to think of him like this, 
Who once found all his joy and bliss 
Against my heart, against my kiss, 

Shule, Shule, Shule, agrah ! 

Star of my joy, art still the same 
Now thou hast gotten a new name, 
Pulse of my heart, my Blood, my Flame, 

Shule, Shule, Shule, agrah ! 



FIONA MACLEOD 263 



II. 

He laid his dear face next to mine, 
His eyes aflame burned close to mine, 
His heart to mine, his lips to mine, 
O he was mine, all mine, all mine. 

Drunk with old wine of love I was, 
Drunk as the wild-bee in the grass 
Singing his honey-mad sweet bass, 
Drunk, drunk with wine of love I was 1 

His lips of life to me were fief, 
Before him I was but a leaf 
Blown by the wind, a shaken leaf, 
Yea, as the sickle reaps the sheaf, 

My Grief! 
He reaped me as a gathered sheaf! 

His to be gathered, his the bliss, 
But not a greater bliss than this! 
All of the empty world to miss 
For wild redemption of his kiss I 
My Grief! 

For hell was lost, though heaven was brief 
Sphered in the universe of thy kiss- 
So cries to thee thy fallen leaf, 
Thy gathered sheaf, 
Lord of my life, my Pride, my Chief, 
My Grief! 



262 LYRA CELTICA 

The Songs of Ethlenn Stuart 
i. 

His face was glad as dawn to me, 
His breath was sweet as dusk to me, 
His eyes were burning flames to me, 



The broad noon-day was night to me, 
The full-moon night was dark to me, 
The stars whirled and the poles span 
The hour God took him far from me. 

Perhaps he dreams in heaven now, 
Perhaps he doth in worship bow, 
A white flame round his foam-white brow, 
Stub, Stub, 54*/*, 



I laugh to think of him like this, 
Who once found all his joy and bliss 
Against my heart, against my kiss, 



Star of my joy, art still the same 
Now thou hast gotten a new name, 
Pulse of my heart, my Blood, my Flame, 



FIONA MACLEOD 263 



II. 

He laid his dear face next to mine, 
His eyes aflame burned close to mine, 
His heart to mine, his lips to mine, 
O he was mine, all mine, all mine. 

Drunk with old wine of love I was, 
Drank as the wild-bee in the grass 
Singing his honey-mad sweet bass, 
Drank, drunk with wine of love I was ! 

His lips of life to me were fief, 
Before him I was but a leaf 
Blown by the wind, a shaken leaf, 
Yea, as die sickle reaps the sheaf, 

My Grief! 
He reaped me as a gathered sheaf! 

His to be gathered, his the buss, 
But not a greater bliss than this! 
All of the empty world to miss 
For wud redemption of his kiss I 
My Grief! 

For hell was lost, though heaven was brief 
Sphered in die universe of thy kiss- 
So cries to thee toy alkn leaf, 
Thy gathered sheaf, 
Lord of my hfe, my Pride, my Chief, 
My Grief! 



264 LYRA CELTICA 

The Closing Doors. 

Eilidh,* Eilidh, Eilidh, heart of me, dear and sweet ! 
In dreams I am hearing the whisper, the sound of your 

coming feet : 
The sound of your coming feet that like the sea-hoofs 

beat 
A music by day and night, Eilidh, on the sands of my 

heart, my sweet! 

O sands of my heart what wind moans low along thy 

shadowy shore? 
Is that the deep sea-heart I hear with the dying sob at 

its core? 

Each dim lost wave that lapses is like a closing door : 
'Tis closing doors they hear at last who soon shall hear 

no more, 

Who soon shall hear no more. 

Eilidh, Eilidh, Eilidh, come home, come home to the 

heart o' me : 
It is pain I am having ever, Eilidh, a pain that will 

not be : 
Come home, come home, for closing doors are as the 

waves o' the sea, 
Once closed they are closed for ever, Eilidh, lost, lost, 

for thee and me, 

Lost, lost, for thee and me. 



Eilidh is pronounced Eiiy (liq.). 



FIONA MACLEOD 265 

The Sorrow of Delight. 

Till death be filled with darkness 

And life be filled with light, 
The sorrow of ancient sorrows 

Shall be the Sorrow of Night : 
But then the sorrow of sorrows 

Shall be the Sorrow of Delight. 

Heart's-joy must fade with sorrow, 

For both are sprung from clay: 
But the Joy that is one with Sorrow, 

Treads an immortal way: 
Each hath in fee To-morrow, 

And their soul is Yesterday. 

Joy that is clothed with shadow 

Is the Joy that is not dead : 
For the joy that is clothed with the rainbow 

Shall with the bow be sped : 
Where the Sun spends his fires is she, 

And where the Stars are led. 



266 NORMAN MACLEOD 
Farewell to Fiunary. 

The wind is fair, the day is fine, 
And swiftly, swiftly runs the time, 
The boat is floating on the tide 
That wafts me off from Fiunary. 

Eirigh agus tingainn O ! 

Eirigh agus tingainn O! 

Erigh agus tingainn O ( 

Farewell, farewell to Fiunary! 

A thousand, thousand tender ties 
Awake this day my plaintive sighs, 
My heart within me almost dies 
To think of leaving Fiunary. 

Eirigh agus tingainn O! etc. 

With pensive steps I often strolled 
Where Fingal's castle stood of old, 
And listened while the shepherd told 
The legend tales of Fiunary. 

Eirigh agus tingainn O ! etc. 

I '11 often pause at close of day 
Where Ossian sang his martial lay, 
And viewed the sun's departing ray 
Wandering o'er Dun Fiunary. 

Eirigh agus tingainn O! etc. 



SARAH ROBERTSON MATHESON 267 
A Kiss of the King's Hand. 

It wasna from a golden throne, 
Or a bower with milk-white roses blown, 
But mid the kelp on northern sand 
That I got a kiss of the king's hand. 

I durstna raise my een tac see 
If he even cared to glance at me ; 
His princely brow with care was crossed 
For his true men slain and kingdom lost. 

Think not his hand was soft and white, 
Or his fingers a' with jewels dight, 
Or round his wrists were jewels grand 
When I got a kiss of the king's hand. 

But dearer far tae my twa een 

Was the ragged sleeve of red and green 

O'er that young weary hand that fain, 

With the guid broadsword, had found its ain. 

Farewell for ever, the distance gray 
And the lapping ocean seemed to say 
For him a home in a foreign land. 
And for me one kiss of the king's hand. 



268 DUGALD MOORE 

The First Ship. 

The sky in beauty arch'd 

The wide and weltering flood, 
While the winds in triumph march'd 

Through their pathless solitude- 
Rousing up the plume on ocean's hoary crest, 

That like space in darkness slept, 

When his watch old Silence kept, 

Ere the earliest planet leapt 
From its breast. 

A speck is on the deeps, 

Like a spirit in her flight ; 
How beautiful she keeps 

Her stately path in light 1 
She sweeps the shining wilderness in glee 

The sun has on her smiled, 

And the waves, no longer wild, 

Sing in glory round that child 
Of the sea. 

'Twas at the set of sun 

That she tilted o'er the flood, 
Moving like God alone 

O'er the glorious solitude 
The billows crouch around her as her slaves. 

How exulting are her crew ! 

Each sight to them is new, 

As they sweep along the blue 
Of the waves. 

Fair herald of the fleets 
That yet shall cross the waves, 

Till the earth with ocean meets 
One universal grave, 

What armaments shall follow thee in joy 1 
Linking each distant land 
With trade's harmonious band, 
Or bearing havoc's brand 
To destroy ! 



LADY CAROLINE NAIRNE 269 
The Land o' the Leal. 

I 'm wearin' awa, John, 

Like snaw-wreaths in thaw, John, 

I 'm wearin' awa 

To the land o' the leal. 

There 's nae sorrow there, John, 
There's neither cauld nor care, John, 
The day is aye fair 

In the land o' the leal. 

Our bonnie bairn 's there, John, 
She was baith gude and fair, John, 
And, oh, we grudged her sair 
To the land o' the leal. 

But sorrow's sel' wears past, John, 
And joy 's a-comin' fast, John, 
The joy that 's aye to last, 
In the land o' the leal. 

Oh, dry your glist'ning ee, John, 
My saul langs to be free, John, 
And Angels beckon me 
To the land o' the leal. 

O haud ye leal and true, John, 
Your day it 's wearin' through, John, 
And I '11 welcome you 

To the land o' the leal. 

Now fare-ye-weel, my ain John, 
The warld's cares are vain, John, 
We '11 meet and we '11 be fain 
In the land o' the leal. 



270 ALEXANDER NICOLSON 
Skye. 

My heart is yearning to thee, O Skye ! 

Dearest of Islands 1 
There first the sunshine gladdened my eye, 

On the sea sparkling ; 
There doth the dust of my dear ones lie, 

In the old graveyard. 

Bright are the golden green fields to me, 

Here in the Lowlands ; 
Sweet sings the mavis in the thorn-tree, 

Snowy with fragrance : 
But oh for a breath of the great North Sea, 

Girdling the mountains 1 

Good is the smell of the brine that laves 

Black rock and skerry, 
Where the great palm-leaved tangle waves 

Down in the green depths, 
And round the craggy bluff pierced with caves 

Sea-gulls are screaming. 

Where the sun sinks beyond Humish Head, 

Crowning in glory, 
As he goes down to his ocean bed 

Studded with islands, 
Flushing the Coolin with royal red, 

Would I were sailing 1 

Many a hearth round that friendly shore 

Giveth warm welcome ; 
Charms still are there, as in days of yore, 

More than of mountains ; 
But hearths and faces are seen no more, 

Once of the brightest 

Many a poor black cottage is there, 
Grimy with peat smoke, 



ALEXANDER NICOLSON 271 

Sending up in the soft evening air 

Purest blue incense, 
While the low music of psalm and prayer 

Rises to Heaven. 

Kind were the voices I used to hear 

Round such a fireside, 
Speaking the mother tongue old and dear, 

Making the heart beat 
With sudden tales of wonder and fear, 

Or plaintive singing. 

Great were the marvellous stories told 

Of Ossian's heroes, 
Giants, and witches, and young men bold, 

Seeking adventures, 
Winning kings' daughters and guarded gold, 

Only with valour. 

Reared in those dwellings have brave ones been; 

Brave ones are still there ; 
Forth from their darkness on Sunday I 've seen 

Coming pure linen, 
And like the linen the souls were clean 

Of them that wore it. 

See that thou kindly use them, O man 1 

To whom God giveth 
Stewardship over them, in thy short span 

Not for thy pleasure ; 
Woe be to them who choose for a clan 

Four-footed people 1 

Blessings be with ye, both now and aye, 

Dear human creatures ! 
Yours is the love that no gold can buy ! 

Nor time can wither, 
Peace be to thee and thy children, O Skye 1 

Dearest of islands. 



272 SIR NOEL PATON 

Midnight by the Sea. 

(Autumn.) 

Waves of the wild North Sea, 

Breaking breaking breaking ! 
From the dumb agony 

Of dreams awaking, 
How sweet within the loosened arms of sleep 

To lie in silence deep, 
Lone listening to your many-throated roar 

Along the caverned shore, 
In midnight darkness breaking breaking breaking ! 

Wind of the wild North Sea, 

Calling calling calling ! 
What may your message be, 

Rising and falling? 
From out the infinite ye make reply: 
"Whither? and whence? and why?" 
And my soul echoes the despairing moan 

Which none can answer none ! 
From out its depths abysmal calling calling calling. 



SIR NOEL PATON 273 
In Shadowland. 

Between the moaning of the mountain stream 
And the hoarse thunder of the Atlantic deep, 
An outcast from the peaceful realms of sleep 

I lie, and hear as in a fever-dream 

The homeless night-wind in the darkness scream 
And wail around the inaccessible steep 
Down whose gaunt sides the spectral torrents leap 

From crag to crag, till almost I could deem 

The plaided ghosts of buried centuries 
Were mustering in the glen with bow and spear 
And shadowy hounds to hunt the shadowy deer, 

Mix in phantasmal sword-play, or, with eyes 
Of wrath and pain immortal, wander o'er 
Loved scenes where human footstep comes no more. 



274 WILLIAM RENTON 
Mountain Twilight. 

The hills slipped over each on each 

Till all their changing shadows died. 
Now in the open skyward reach 

The lights grow solemn side by side. 
While of these hills the westermost 
Rears high his majesty of coast 

In shifting waste of dim-blue brine 

And fading olive hyaline ; 
Till all the distance overflows, 

The green in watchet and the blue 
In purple. Now they fuse and close 

A darkling violet, fringed anew 
With light that on the mountain soars, 
A dusky flame on tranquil shores ; 

Kindling the summits as they grow 
In audience to the skies that call, 
Ineffable in rest and all 

The pathos of the afterglow. 



LADY JOHN SCOTT 275 
Durisdeer. 

We'll meet nae mair at sunset when the weary day is 

dune, 

Nor wander hame thegither by the lee licht o' the mune. 
I '11 hear your steps nae longer amang the dewy corn, 
For we '11 meet nae mair, my bonniest, either at e'en or 

morn. 

The yellow broom is waving abune the sunny brae, 
And the rowan berries dancing where the sparkling 

waters play ; 

Tho' a' is bright and bonnie it's an eerie place to me, 
For we'll meet nae mair, my dearest, either by burn or 

tree 

Far up into the wild hills there's a kirkyard lone and 

still, 
Where the frosts lie ilka morning and the mists hang 

low and chill. 
And there ye sleep in silence while I wander here my 

lane 
Till we meet ance mair in Heaven never to part again I 



276 EARL OF SOUTHESK 
November's Cadence. 

The bees about the Linden-tree, 
When blithely summer blooms were springing. 
Would hum a heartsome melody, 
The simple baby-soul of singing ; 
And thus my spirit sang to me 
When youth its wanton way was winging : 
" Be glad, be sad them hast the choice 
But mingle music with thy voice." 

The linnets on the Linden-tree, 
Among the leaves in autumn dying, 
Are making gentle melody, 
A mild, mysterious, mournful sighing; 
And thus my spirit sings to me 
While years are flying, flying, flying : 
" Be sad, be sad, them hast no choice, 
But mourn with music in thy voice." 



JOHN CAMPBELL SHAIRP 277 
Cailleach Bein-y-Vreich. 

Weird wife of Bein-y-Vreich ! horol horo ! 

Aloft in the mist she dwells ; 
Vreich horo ! Vreich horo 1 Vreich horo 1 

All alone by the lofty wells. 

Weird, weird wife ! with the long gray locks, 

She follows her fleet-foot stags, 
Noisily moving through splinter'd rocks, 

And crashing the grisly crags. 

Tall wife, with the long gray hose 1 in haste 

The rough stony beach she walks ; 
But dulse or seaweed she will not taste, 

Nor yet the green kail stalks. 
* 

I will not let my herds of deer, 
My bonny red deer go down ; 

1 will not let them go down to the shore, 
To feed on the sea-shells brown. 

Oh, better they love in the corrie's recess, 

Or on mountain top to dwell, 
And feed by my side on the green, green cress, 

That grows by the lofty well. 

Broad Bein-y-Vreich is grisly and drear, 

But wherever my feet have been 
The well-springs start for my darling deer, 

And the grass grows tender and green. 

And there high up on the calm nights clear, 

Beside the lofty spring, 
They come to my call, and I milk them there, 

And a weird wild song I sing. 

But when hunter men round my dun deer prowl, 

I will not let them nigh ; 
Through the rended cloud I cast one scowl, 

They faint on the heath and die. 



280 UNKNOWN 

(From the Gaelic. 
Western Isles.) 

Lost Love. 

My heart ! my pulse 1 my flame 1 
O the gloom, O the pain 1 

He has no wish to save me 
Who will not come again. 

Lovel Lovel Love! 

The fair cheek, the dark hair, 
The promise forgotten ; 

'Twill go with me there. 

False ! false ! false 1 
O, youth is false for ever : 

He loves far more than living me 
The lifeless heather. 

The hunting field, 

The greenwood tree, 
The trout, the running deer, he loves, 

Far more than me. 

He loves loves loves 
To stalk the frightened doe ; 

He never heeds the pain he gives, 
His skill to show. 

O, the dark blue eye 
A flower wet with dew ; 

O, the fair false face- 
Too sweet to view ! 

Love 1 Love ! Love 1 

The fair cheek, the dark hair ! 
For him I 'd scale the walls of hell 

Gin he were there! 



IV 

CONTEMPORARY 

ANGLO-CELTIC POETS 

(Wales) 



GEORGE MEREDITH 283 
Dirge in Woods. 

A wind sways the pines, 

And below 

Not a breath of wild air ; 
Still as the mosses that glow 
On the flooring and over the lines 
Of the roots here and there. 
The pine-tree drops its dead ; 
They are quiet, as under the sea. 
Overhead, overhead 
Rushes life in a race, 
As the clouds the clouds chase ; 

And we go, 
And we drop like the fruits of the tree, 

Even we, 

Even so. 



284 LYRA CELTICA 

Outer and Inner, 
i. 

From twig to twig the spider weaves 

At noon his webbing fine. 
So near to mute the zephyr's flute 

That only leaflets dance. 
The sun draws out of hazel leaves 

A smell of woodland wine. 
I wake a swarm to sudden storm 

At any step's advance. 

II. 
Along my path is bugloss blue, 

The star with fruit in moss ; 
The foxgloves drop from throat to top 

A daily lesser bell. 
The blackest shadow, nurse of dew, 

Has orange skeins across ; 
And keenly red is one thin thread 

That flashing seems to swell. 

III. 
My world I note ere fancy comes, 

Minutest hushed observe : 
What busy bits of motioned wits 

Through antlered mosswork strive; 
But now so low the stillness hums, 

My springs of seeing swerve, 
For half a wink to thrill and think 

The woods with nymphs alive. 

IV. 
I neighbour the invisible 

So close that my consent 
Is only asked for spirits masked 

To leap from trees and flowers. 



GEORGE MEREDITH 285 

And this because with them I dwell 

In thought, while calmly bent 
To read the lines dear Earth designs 

Shall speak her life on ours. 

V. 

Accept, she says ; it is not hard 

In woods ; but she in towns 
Repeats, accept ; and have we wept, 

And have we quailed with fears, 
Or shrunk with horrors, sure reward 

We have whom knowledge crowns ; 
Who see in mould the rose unfold, 

The soul through blood and tears. 



286 LYRA CELTICA 

Night of Frost in May. 

With splendour of a silver day, 

A frosted night had opened May : 

And on that plumed and armoured night, 

As one close temple hove our wood, 

Its border leafage virgin white. 

Remote down air an owl halloed. 

The black twig dropped without a twirl ; 

The bud in jewelled grasp was nipped ; 

The brown leaf cracked with a scorching curl ; 

A crystal off the green leaf slipped. 

Across the tracks of rimy tan, 

Some busy thread at whiles would shoot ; 

A limping minnow-rillet ran, 

To hang upon an icy foot. 

In this shrill hush of quietude, 
The ear conceived a severing cry. 
Almost it let the sound elude, 
When chuckles three, a warble shy, 
From hazels of the garden came, 
Near by the crimson-windowed farm. 
They laid the trance on breath and frame, 
A prelude of the passion-charm. 

Then soon was heard, not sooner heard 
Than answered, doubled, trebled, more, 
Voice of an Eden in the bird 
Renewing with his pipe of four 
The sob : a troubled Eden, rich 
In throb of heart : unnumbered throats 
Flung upward at a fountain's pitch, 
The fervour of the four long notes, 
That on the fountain's pool subside ; 
Exult and ruffle and upspring: 
Endless the crossing multiplied 
Of silver and of golden string. 



GEORGE MEREDITH 287 

There chimed a bubbled underbrew 
With witch-wild spray of vocal dew. 

It seemed a single harper swept 

Our wild wood's inner chords and waked 

A spirit that for yearning ached 

Ere men desired and joyed or wept. 

Or now a legion ravishing 

Musician rivals did unite 

In love of sweetness high to sing 

The subtle song that rivals light ; 

From breast of earth to breast of sky : 

And they were secret, they were nigh : 

A hand the magic might disperse ; 

The magic swung my universe. 

Yet sharpened breath forbade to dream, 

Where all was visionary gleam ; 

Where Seasons, as with cymbals, clashed; 

And feelings, passing joy and woe, 

Churned, gurgled, spouted, interflashed, 

Nor either was the one we know : 

Nor pregnant of the heart contained 

In us were they, that griefless plained, 

That plaining soared ; and through the heart 

Struck to one note the wide apart: 

A passion surgent from despair ; 

A paining bliss in fervid cold ; 

Off the last vital edge of air, 

Leaping heavenward of the lofty-souled, 

For rapture of a wine of tears ; 

As had a star among the spheres 

Caught up our earth to some mid-height 

Of double life to ear and sight, 

She giving voice to thought that shines 

Keen-brilliant of her deepest mines ; 

While steely drips the rillet clinked, 

And hoar with crust the cowslips swelled. 



288 LYRA CELTICA 

Then was the lyre of Earth beheld, 
Then heard by me : it holds me linked ; 
Across the years to dead-ebb shores 
I stand on, my blood-thrill restores. 
But would I conjure into me 
Those issue notes, I must review 
What serious breath the woodland drew ; 
The low throb of expectancy ; 
How the white mother-muteness pressed 
On leaf and meadow-herb ; how shook, 
Nigh speech of mouth, the sparkle-crest 
Seen spinning on the bracken crook. 



GEORGE MEREDITH 289 

Hymn to Colour. 

i. 

With Life and Death I walked when Love appeared, 
And made them on each side a shadow seem. 
Through wooded vales the land of dawn we neared, 
Where down smooth rapids whirls the helmless dream 
To fall on daylight ; and night puts away 

Her darker veil for grey. 

II. 

In that grey veil green grassblades brushed we by ; 
We came where woods breathed sharp, and overhead 
Rocks raised clear horns on a transforming sky : 
Around, save for those shapes, with him who led 
And linked them, desert varied by no sign 

Of other life than mine. 

III. 

By this the dark-winged planet, raving wide, 
From the mild pearl-glow to the rose upborne, 
Drew in his fires, less faint than far descried, 
Pure-fronted on a stronger wave of morn : 
And those two shapes the splendour interweaved, 

Hung web-like, sank and heaved. 

IV. 

Love took my hand when hidden stood the sun 
To fling his robe on shoulder-heights of snow. 
Then said : There lie they, Life and Death in one. 
Whichever is, the other is : but know, 
It is thy craving self that thou dost see, 

Not in them seeing me. 

V. 

Shall man into the mystery of breath, 
From his quick breathing pulse a pathway spy? 
Or learn the secret of the shrouded death, 
By lifting up the lid of a white eye ? 
Cleave thou thy way with fathering desire 

Of fire to reach to fire. 
T 



290 LYRA CELTICA 

VI. 

Look now where Colour, the soul's bridegroom, makes 
The house of heaven splendid for the bride. 
To him as leaps a fountain she awakes, 
In knotting arms, yet boundless : him beside, 
She holds the flower to heaven, and by his power 
Brings heaven to the flower. 

VII. 

He gives her homeliness in desert air, 
And sovereignty in spaciousness ; he leads 
Through widening chambers of surprise to where 
Throbs rapture near an end that aye recedes, 
Because his touch is infinite and lends 
A yonder to all ends. 

VIII. 

Death begs of Life his blush ; Life Death persuades 
To keep long day with his caresses graced. 
He is the heart of light, the wing of shades, 
The crown of beauty ; never soul embraced 
Of him can harbour unfaith ; soul of him 
Possessed walks never dim. 

IX. 

Love eyed his rosy memories : he sang : 
O bloom of dawn, breathed up from the gold sheaf 
Held springing beneath Orient 1 that dost hang 
The space of dewdrops running over leaf ; 
Thy fleetingness is bigger in the ghost 

Than Time with all his hostl 

X. 

Of thee to say behold, has said adieu : 
But love remembers how the sky was green, 
And how the grasses glimmered lightest blue ; 
How saint-like grey took fervour : how the screen 
Of cloud grew violet ; how thy moment came 
Between a blush and flame. 



GEORGE MEREDITH 291 

XI. 

Love saw the emissary eglantine 
Break wave round thy white feet above the gloom ; 
Lay finger on thy star ; thy raiment line 
With cherub wing and limb ; wed thy soft bloom, 
Gold-quivering like sunrays in thistle-down, 
Earth under rolling brown. 

XII. 

They do not look through love to look on thee, 
Grave heavenliness ! nor know they joy of sight, 
Who deem the wave of rapt desire must be 
Its wrecking and last issue of delight. 
Dead seasons quicken in one petal-spot 
Of colour unforgot. 

XIII. 

This way have men come out of brutishness 
To spell the letters of the sky and read 
A reflex upon earth else meaningless. 
With thee, O fount of the Untimed ! to lead ; 
Drink they of thee, thee eyeing, they imaged 

Shall on through brave wars waged. 

XIV. 

More gardens will they win than any lost ; 
The vile plucked out of them, the unlovely slain. 
Not forfeiting the beast with which they are crossed, 
To stature of the Gods will they attain. 
They shall uplift their Earth to meet her Lord, 
Themselves the attuning chord ! 

XV. 

The song had ceased ; my vision with the song. 
Then of those Shadows, which one made descent 
Beside me I knew not: but Life ere long 
Came on me in the public ways and bent 
Eyes deeper than of old : Death met I too, 

And saw the dawn glow through. 



292 SEBASTIAN EVANS 
Shadows. 

Lonely o'er the dying ember 

I the past recall, 
And remember in December 
April buds and August skies, 
As the shadows fall and rise, 
As the shadows rise and fall. 

Quicker now they lift and flicker 

On the dreary wall ; 
Aye, and quicker still and thicker 
Throng the fitful fantasies, 
As the shadows fall and rise, 
As the shadows rise and fall. 

Dimmer now they shoot and shimmer 

On the dreary wall, 
Dimmer, dimmer, still they glimmer 
Till the light in darkness dies, 
And the other shadows rise, 
And the other shadows fall. 



EBENEZER JONES 293 
When the World is Burning. 

When the world is burning, 
Fired within, yet turning 

Round with face unscathed ; 
Ere fierce flames, uprushing, 
O'er all lands leap, crushing, 

Till earth fall, fire-swathed ; 
Up against the meadows, 
Gently through the shadows, 

Gentle flames will glide, 
Small, and blue, and golden. 
Though by bard beholden, 
When in calm dreams folden, 

Calm his dreams will bide. 

Where the dance is sweeping, 
Through the greensward peeping, 

Shall the soft lights start; 
Laughing maids, unstaying, 
Deeming it trick-playing, 
High their robes upswaying, 

O'er the lights shall dart; 
And the woodland haunter 
Shall not cease to saunter 

When, far down some glade, 
Of the great world's burning, 
One soft flame upturning 
Seems, to his discerning, 

Crocus in the shade. 



294 LYRA CELTICA 

The Hand. 

Lone o'er the moors I stray 'd ; 
With basely timid mind, 
Because by some betray 'd 
Denouncing human-kind ; 
I heard the lonely wind, 
And wickedly did mourn 
I could not share its loneliness, 
And all things human scorn. 

And bitter were the tears, 

I cursed as they fell ; 

And bitterer the sneers 

I strove not to repel : 

With blindly mutter 'd yell, 

I cried unto mine heart, 

"Thou shalt beat the world in falsehood 

And stab it ere we part." 

My hand I backward drave 
As one who seeks a knife ; 
When startlingly did crave 
To quell that hand's wild strife 
Some other hand ; all rife 
With kindness, clasp'd it hard 
On mine, quick frequent claspings 
That would not be debarr'd. 

I dared not turn my gaze 

To the creature of the hand ; 

And no sound did it raise, 

Its nature to disband 

Of mystery ; vast, and grand, 

The moors around me spread, 

And I thought, some angel message 

Perchance their God may have sped. 



EBENEZER JONES 295 

But it press'd another press, 
So full of earnest prayer, 
While o'er it fell a tress 
Of cool soft human hair, 
I fear'd not ; I did dare 
Turn round, 'twas Hannah there! 
Oh ! to no one out of heaven 
Could I what pass'd declare. 

We wander'd o'er the moor 
Through all that blessed day ; 
And we drank its waters pure, 
And felt the world away ; 
In many a dell we lay, 
And we twined flower-crowns bright ; 
And I fed her with moor-berries 
And bless'd her glad eye-light 

And still that earnest prayer 
That saved me many stings, 
Was oft a silent sayer 
Of countless loving things ; 
I '11 ring it all with rings, 
Each ring a jewell'd band ; 
For heaven shouldn't purchase 
That little sister hand. 



296 EMILY DAVIS 

(Mrs Pfeiffer) 

A Song of Winter. 

Barb'd blossom of the guarded gorse, 
I love thee where I see thee shine : 
Thou sweetener of our common-ways, 
And brightener of our wintry days. 

Flower of the gorse, the rose is dead, 

Thou art undying, O be mine! 
Be mine with all thy thorns, and prest 
Close on a heart that asks not rest 

I pluck thee and thy stigma set 

Upon my breast, and on my brow ; 
Blow, buds, and plenish so my wreath 
That none may know the wounds beneath. 

crown of thorn that seem'st of gold, 
No festal coronal art thou; 

Thy honey'd blossoms are but hives 
That guard the growth of winged lives. 

1 saw thee in the time of flowers 
As sunshine spill'd upon the land, 

Or burning bushes all ablaze 

With sacred fire ; but went my ways ; 

I went my ways, and as I went 

Pluck'd kindlier blooms on either hand ; 
Now of those blooms so passing sweet 
None lives to stay my passing feet. 

And still thy lamp upon the hill 

Feeds on the autumn's dying sigh, 
And from thy midst comes murmuring 
A music sweeter than in spring. 

Barb'd blossoms of the guarded gorse, 

Be mine to wear until I die, 
And mine the wounds of love which still 
Bear witness to his human will. 



ERNEST RHYS 297 

The Night Ride. 

To-night we rode beneath a moon 

That made the moorland pale; 
And our horses' feet kept well the tune 

And our pulses did not fail. 

The moon shone clear ; the hoar-frost fell, 

The world slept, as it seemed ; 
Sleep held the night, but we rode well, 

And as we rode we dreamed. 

We dreamed of ghostly horse and hound, 

And flight at dead of night ; 
The more the fearful thoughts we found, 

The more was our delight. 

And when we saw the white-owl fly, 

With hoot, how woebegone! 
We thought to see dead men go by, 

And pressed our horses on. 

The merrier then was Sylvia's song 

Upon the homeward road, 
Oh, whether the way be short or long 

Is all in the rider's mood ! 

And still our pulses kept the tale, 

Our gallop kept the tune, 
As round and over hill and vale 

We rode beneath the moon. 



298 LYRA CELTICA 

The House of Hendra. 

'S'az Plas Hendre 
Yn Nghaer Fyrddin : 
Canu Brechfa, 
Tithau Lywelyrf. 



The House of Hendra 
stood in Merlin's 
Town, and was sung 
I. by Brechva on his 

Harp of gold at the 
October Feasting of 
Ivor. 



In the town where wondrous Merlin 

Lived, and still 

In deep sleep, they say, lies dreaming 
Near it, under Merlin's Hill, 

In that town of pastoral Towy, 

Once of old 

Stood the ancient House of Hendra, 
Sung on Brechva's harp of gold. 

With his harp to Ivor's feasting 

Brechva came, 

There he sang and made this ballad, 
While the last torch spent its flame. 

Long they told, the men of Ivor, 

Of the strain 

At the heart of Brechva's harping 
Heard that night, and not again. 



ERNEST RHYS 299 

Incipit Brechva's Ballad of 
the House of Hendra, 
TJ and of his deep sleep 

there on Hallowmas 
Night, and of his 
strange awaking. 

In yon town, he sang, there Hendra 

Waits my feet, 

In renowned Merlin's town where 
Clare's white castle keeps the street. 

There, within that house of heroes, 

I drew breath ; 

And 'tis there my feet must bear me, 
For the darker grace of death. 

There that last year's night I journeyed, 

Hallowmas ! 

When the dead of Earth, unburied, 
In the darkness rise and pass. 

Then in Hendra (all his harp cried 

At the stroke), 

Twelve moons gone, there came upon me 
Sleep like death. At length I woke : 

I awoke to utter darkness, 

Still and deep, 

With the walls around me fallen 
Of the sombre halls of sleep : 

With my hall of dreams downfallen, 

Dark I lay, 

Like one houseless, though about me 
Hendra stood, more fast than they: 

But what broke my sleep asunder, 

Light or sound? 

There was shown no sound, where only 
Night, and shadow's heart, were found. 



300 LYRA CELTICA 



Anon he hears a voice in 

the night, and rising 

III. from sleep, looks out 

upon the sleeping 

town. 



So it passed, till with a troubled 

Lonely noise, 

Like a cry of men benighted, 
Midnight made itself a voice. 

Then I rose, and from the stairloop, 

Looking down, 

Nothing saw, where far before me 
Lay, one darkness, all the town. 

In that grave day seemed for ever 

To lie dead, 

Nevermore at wake of morning 
To lift up its pleasant head : 

All its friendly foolish clamour, 

Its delight, 

Fast asleep, or dead, beneath me, 
In that black descent of night : 

But anon, like fitful harping, 

Hark, a noise! 

As in dream, suppose your dreamer's 
Men of shadow found a voice. 



ERNEST RHYS 301 

Hearing his name called, 
Brechva descends to 
jy the postern, and sees 

thence a circle of 
Shadows, in a solemn 
dance of Death. 

Night-wind never sang more strangely 

Song more strange; 
All confused, yet with a music 
In confusion's interchange. 

Now it cried, like harried night-birds, 

Flying near, 

Now, more nigh, with multiplying 
Voice on voice, "O Brechva, hear!" 

I was filled with fearful pleasure 

At the call, 

And I turned, and by the stairway 
Gained the postern in the wall : 

Deep as Annwn lay the darkness 

At my feet; 

Like a yawning grave before me, 
When I opened, lay the street. 

Dark as death, and deep as Annwn, 

But these eyes 

Yet more deeply, strangely, seeing, 
From that grave saw life arise. 

And therewith a mist of shadows 

In a ring, 

Like the sea-mist on the sea-wind, 
Waxing, waning, vanishing. 

Circling as the wheel of spirits 

Whirled and spun, 

Spun and whirled, to forewarn Merlin 
In the woods of Caledon. 



302 LYRA CELTICA 

The spirits are no dream- 
y folk; but ancient in- 

mates of the House 
of Hendra. 

Shades of men, ay, bards and warriors I - 

Wrought of air, 

You may deem, but 'twas no dream-folk, 
Born of night, that crossed me there. 

And my heart cried out, "O Vorwyn! 

They are those 

Who of old-time lived to know here 
Life's great sweetness in this house." 

I had bid them kinsman's welcome, 

In a word, 

For the ancient sake of Hendra, 
Which they served with harp and sword. 

But as still I watched them, wondering, 

Curiously, 

Knowing all they should forewarn me, 
Of my death and destiny ! 

Ere I marked all in the silence, 

Ere I knew, 

Swift as they had come, as strangely 
Now their shadowy life withdrew. 



ERNEST RHYS 303 

The Spirits being gone, 

Brechva hears aerial 

VI. music, and sees in 

vision all the Bards in 

the seventh Heaven. 

They were gone ; but what sweet wonder 

Filled the air ! 

With a thousand harping noises, 
Harping, chiming, crying there. 

At that harping and that chiming, 

Straightway strong 
Grew my heart, and in the darkness 
Found great solace at that song. 

Through the gate of night, its vision, 

Three times fine, 

Saw the seventh heaven of heroes, 
'Mid a thousand torches' shine : 

All the bards and all the heroes 

Of old time 

There with Arthur and with Merlin 
Weave again the bardic rhyme. 

There a seat is set and ready, 

And the name 

There inscribed, and set on high there, 
Brechva of the Bards of Fame. 



CONTEMPORARY 

ANGLO-CELTIC POETS 

(Manx) 



T. E. BROWN 307 

The Childhood of Kitty of the 
Sherragh Vane. 

Nice lookin', eh? 

Aye, that's your way 

Well, I tell ye, the first time ever I seen her, 

She wasn' much more till* a baby 

Six years, may be, 

Would have been her 

Age ; at the little clogs at her, f 

Glitter-clatter, 

And her little hand 

In mine, to show me the way, you'll understand, 

Down yandher brew, 

And me a stranger too, 

That was lost on the mountain ; 

And the little sowl in the house all alone, 

And for her to be goin' 

The best part of a mile 

Bless the chile ! 

Till she got me right 

Not a bit shy, not her! 

Nor freckened, * but talkin* as purty 

As a woman of thirty 

And "That's the way down to the School," says she, 

"And Saul and me 

Is goin' there every day ; 

You'll aisy find the way" 

And turns, and off like a bird on the wing, 

Aw, a bright little thing 1 

Isn* it that way with these people of the mountain ? 

No accountin' 

But seemin very fearless though 

Very not for fightin', no ! 

*than. f of hers. j frightened. 



308 LYRA CELTICA 

Nor tearin', but just the used they are 
Of fogs and bogs, and all the war 
Of winds and clouds, and ghos'es creepin' 
Unknownst upon them, and fairies cheepin' 
Like birds, you'd think, and big bugganes* 
In holes in rocks ; lek makin' frens 
With the like, that'll work like niggers, they will, 
If you '11 only let them ; and paisible 
Uncommon they are; and little scraps, 
That's hardly off their mammies' laps 
'11 walk about there in the night 
The same as the day, and all right- 
Bless ye ! ghos'es 1 ar'n' they half 
Ghos'es themselves? Just hear them laugh, 
Or hear them cry, 
It's like up in the sky- 
Aw, differin* 

Total aye ; for the air is thin 
And fine up there, and they ucks it in 
Very strong, 
Very long, 

And mixes it in the mould 
Of all their body and all their sowl 
So they're often seemin' 
Like people dreamin', 
With their eyes open like a surt of a trance. 

* Hobgoblins. 






HALL CAINE 309 

Graih my Chree. 

(Love of my Heart.) 

I. 

She was Joney, the rich man's only child, 

He was Juan, a son of the sea. 
"Thy father hath cast me forth of his door, 
But, poor as I am, to his teeth I swore 

I should wed thee, O graih my chree." 

He broke a ring and gave her the half, 

And she buried it close at her heart. 
" I must leave thee, love of my soul," he said, 
"But I vow by our troth that living or dead, 
I will come back rich to thine arms and thy bed, 
And fetch thee as sure as we part." 

He sailed to the north, he sailed to the south, 

He sailed to the foreign strand, 
But whether he touched on the icy cone 
Or the coral reef of the Indian zone, 

It turned to a golden land. 

And he cried to his crew, " Hoist sail and about, 

For no more do I need to roam ; 
I have silks and satins and lace and gold, 
I have treasure as deep as my ship will hold 

To win me a wife at home." 

They had not sailed but half of their coarse 

To the haven where they would be, 
When the devil beguiled their barque on a rock, 
And down it sank with a woeful shock 

On the banks of Italy. 

Then over the roar of the clamorous waves 

The skipper his voice was heard, 
" I vowed by our troth that dead or alive 
I should come back yet to wed and to wive, 

And by t' Lady I keep my word. 



310 LYRA CELTICA 

" I will come to thee still, O love of my heart, 

From the arms of the envious sea ; 
Though the tempest should swallow my choking 

breath, 

In the spite of hell and the devil and death 
I will come to thee, graih my chree." 

II. 

" He will come no more to thine arms, my child, 

He is false or lost and dead, 
Now wherefore make ye these five years' moan, 
And wherefore sit by the sea alone?" 

" He will keep his vow," she said. 

She climbed the brows of the cliffs at home, 

She gazed on the false, false sea. 
" It comes and it goes for ever," she cried, 
" And tidings it brings to the wife and the bride, 

But never a word to me." 

Then, of lovers, another came wooing the maid, 
But she answered him nay and nay, 

The manfullest man and her servant true, 
" Give me thy hand and thou shalt not rue," 
She murmured, " Alack, the day." 

Her father arose in his pride and his wrath, 

He was last of his race and name, 
" Because that a daughter will peak and will pine 
Must I never have child of my child to my line, 

But die in my childless shame?" 

They bore her a bride to the kirkyard gate, 
It was a pitiful sight to see, 
Her body they decked in their jewels and gold, 
But the heart in her bosom sate silent and cold, 
And she murmured "Ah, woe is me." 



HALL CAINE 3" 

III. 

They had not been wedded a year, a year, 

A year but barely two, 

When the good wife close to the hearth-stone crept 
And rocked her babe while the good man slept 

And the wind in the chimney blew. 

Loud was the sea and fierce was the night, 

Gloomy and wild and dour ; 
From a flying cloud came a lightning flash, 
A pane of the window fell in with a crash, 
And something rang on the floor. 

O, was it a stone from the waste sea-beach? 

O, was it an earthly thing? 
She stirred the peat and stooped to the ground, 
And there in the red, red light she found 
The half of a broken ring. 

She rose upright in a terror of fright 

As one that hath sinned a sin, 
And out of the dark and the wind and rain, 
Through the jagged gap of the broken pane, 

A man's white face looked in. 

" Oh, why didst them stay so long, Juan ? 

Five years I waited for thee." 
" I vowed by our troth, that living or dead 
I should come back yet to thine arms and thy bed, 

And my vow I have kept, my chree." 

" But I have been false to my troth, Juan ; 

Falsely I swore me away." 
" I have silks and satins and lace and gold, 
I have treasure as deep as my ship will hold; 

And my barque lies out in the bay." 



312 LYRA CELTICA 

" But I have a husband that loves me dear ; 

I promised him never to part." 

" Through the salt sea's foam and the earth's hot breath, 
Through the grapplings of hell and the gates of death 

I have come for thee, Joney, my heart" 

" But I have a child of my body so sweet- 
Little Jannie that sleeps in the cot" 

" By the glimpse of the moon, at the top of the tide, 
Ere the crow of the cock our vessel must ride, 
Or what will befall us, God wot" 

" Now, ever alack, thou must kiss and go back ; 

My love, I am never for thee." 
" As sure as yon ship to the billows that roll, 
By the plight of our troth, both body and soul 

You belong to me, graih my chree." 

She followed him forth like to one in a sleep ; 

It was a woeful and wonderous sight 
The moon on his face from a rift in a cloud 
Showed it white and wan as a face in a shroud, 

And his ship on the sea gleamed white. 



IV. 

" Now weigh and away, my merry men all." 
The crew laughed loud in their glee. 

" With the rich man's pride and his sweet daughter, 
In the spite of wind and the wild water 
To the banks of Italy!" 

The anchor was weighed, the canvas was spread, 

All in the storm and the dark, 
With never a reef in a stitch of sail, 
But standing about to burst the gale 

Merrily sped the barque. 



HALL CAINE 313 

The first night out there was fear on the ship, 

For the lady lay in a swoon ; 
The second night out she woke from her trance, 
And the skipper did laugh and his men would dance, 

But she made a piteous moan. 

" O, where is my home and my sweet baby 

My Jannie I nursed on my knee? 
He will wake in his cot by the cold hearth-stone 
And cry for his mother who left him alone ; 

My Jannie, I 'm wae for thee." 

The skipper he shouted for music and song, 

And his crew they answered his call. 
He clothed her in silk and satin and lace, 
But still through the rout and riot her face 
Showed fit for a funeral. 

And ever at night they sailed by the moon, 

Through the wild white foam so fleet, 
And ever again at the coming of day, 
When the sun rose out of the sea they lay 
In a mist like a winding sheet. 

And still the skipper he kissed her and cried, 

" Be merry and let-a-be." 

And still to soothe her he sat through the nights 
With his hand in her hand, till they opened the lights 
By the banks of Italy. 

Then his face shone green as with ghostly sheen, 

And the moon began to dip. 
" O, think not you, I am the lover ye knew ; 
I am a ghostly man with a ghostly crew, 
And this is a ghostly ship." 

Then he rose upright to a fearsome height, 

And stamped his foot on the deck ; 
He smote the mast at the topsail yards, 
And the rigging fell like a house of cards, 

And the hulk was a splitting wreck. 



314 LYRA CELTICA 

O, then as she sank in the water's womb, 

In the churn of the choking sea, 
She knew that his arms were about her breast, 

As close as his arms might be. 
And he cried o'er the tramp of the champing tide 

On the banks of Italy, 

" By the plight of our troth, by the power of our bond, 
If not in this world in the world beyond, 

Thou art mine, O graih my chree." 



VI 

CONTEMPORARY 

ANGLO-CELTIC POETS 

(Cornish) 



A. T. QUILLER COUCH 317 
The Splendid Spur. 

Not on the neck of prince or hound, 

Nor on a woman's finger twin'd, 
May gold from the deriding ground 
Keep sacred that we sacred bind : 
Only the heel 
Of splendid steel 

Shall stand secure on sliding fate, 
When golden navies weep their freight 

The scarlet hat, the laurell'd stave 

Are measures, not the springs of worth ; 
In a wife's lap, as in a grave, 
Man's airy notions mix with earth. 
Seek other spur 
Bravely to stir 

The dust in this loud world, and tread 
Alp-high among the whisp'ring dead. 

Trust in thyself, then spur amain: 

So shall Charybdis wear a grace, 
Grim JEtna. laugh, the Libyan plain 
Take roses to her shrivell'd face. 
This orb this round 
Of sight and sound 
Count it the lists that God hath built 
For haughty hearts to ride a-tilt. 



318 A. T. QUILLER COUCH 
The White Moth. 

If a leaf rustled, she would start : 

And yet she died, a year ago. 
How had so frail a thing the heart 

To journey where she trembled so ? 
And do they turn and turn in fright, 

Those little feet, in so much night ? 

The light above the poet's head 
Streamed on the page and on the cloth, 

And twice and thrice there buffeted 
On the black pane a white-wing'd moth : 

'Twas Annie's soul that beat outside, 
And "Open, open, open!" cried: 

" I could not find the way to God ; 

There were too many flaming suns 
For signposts, and the fearful road 

Led over wastes where millions 
Of tangled comets hissed and burned 

I was bewilder'd and I turned. 

" O, it was easy then ! I knew 

Your window and no star beside. 

Look up and take me back to you ! " 
He rose and thrust the window wide. 

'Twas but because his brain was hot 
With rhyming ; for he heard her not. 

But poets polishing a phrase 
Show anger over trivial things : 

And as she blundered in the blaze 
Towards him, on ecstatic wings, 

He raised a hand and smote her dead ; 
Then wrote, "That I had died instead." 



STEPHEN HAWKER 319 

Featherstone's Doom.* 

i. 

Twist thou and twine ! in light and gloom 

A spell is on thine hand ; 
The wind shall be thy changeful loom, 

Thy web, the shifting sand. 

II. 

Twine from this hour, in ceaseless toil, 

On Blackrock's sullen shore; 
Till cordage of the hand shall coil 

Where crested surges roar. 

III. 

'Tis for that hour, when, from the wave, 

Near voices wildly cried ; 
When thy stern hand no succour gave, 

The cable at thy side. 

IV. 

Twist thou and twine 1 in light and gloom 

The spell is on thine hand ; 
The wind shall be thy changeful loom, 

Thy web, the shifting sand. 



* The Blackrock is a bold, dark, pillared mass of 
schist, which rises midway on the shore of Widemouth 
Bay, near Bude, and is held to be the lair of the troubled 
spirit of Featherstone the wrecker, imprisoned therein 
until he shall have accomplished his doom. 



320 STEPHEN HAWKER 

Trebarrow. 

i. 

Did the wild blast of battle sound, 
Of old, from yonder lonely mound ? 
Race of Pendragon 1 did ye pour, 
On this dear earth, your votive gore? 

II. 

Did stern swords cleave along this plain 
The loose rank of the roving Dane ? 
Or Norman chargers' sounding tread 
Smite the meek daisy's Saxon head? 

III. 

The wayward winds no answer breathe, 
No legend cometh from beneath, 
Of chief, with good sword at his side, 
Or Druid in his tomb of pride. 

IV. 

One quiet bird that comes to make 
Her lone nest in the scanty brake ; 
A nameless flower, a silent fern 
Lol the dim stranger's storied urn. 

V. 

Hark I on the cold wings of the blast 
The future answereth to the past; 
The bird, the flower, may gather still, 
Thy voice shall cease upon the hill ! 



RICCARDO STEPHENS 321 
Witch Margaret. 

Who hath not met Witch Margaret? 

Red gold her rippling hair, 
Eyes like sweet summer seas are set 

Beneath her brow so fair ; 
And cream and damask rose have met 

Her lips and cheek to share. 

Come up 1 and you shall see her yet, 

Before she groweth still ; 
Before her cloak of flame and smoke 

The winter air shall fill ; 
For they must burn Witch Margaret 

Upon the Castle Hill. 



They found on her the devil's mark, 

Wherein naught maketh pain, 
" Bind her and dip her I stiff and stark 

She floateth aye again ; 
Her body changeth after dark, 
When powers of darkness reign." 

They drave the boot on Margaret 

And crushed her dainty feet ; 
The hissing searing-irons set 

To kiss her lips so sweet : 
She hath not asked for mercy yet, 

Nor mercy shall she meet. 

The silent sky was cold and grey, 
The earth was cold and white, 

They brought her out that Christmas Day 
To burn her in our sight ; 

The snow that fell and fell alway 
Would cover her ere night. 
x 



322 LYRA CELTICA 

All feebly as a child would go 
Her bleeding feet dragged by, 

Blood-red upon the white, white snow 
I saw her footprints lie ; 

And some one shrieked to see her so 
God knows if it was I ! 

Upon her body, all in black, 

Fell down her red-gold hair ; 
All bruised and bleeding from the rack 

Her writhen arms hung bare ; 
Red blood dripped all along her track, 

Red blood seemed in the air. 

The while they told her deeds of shame, 

She, resting in the snow, 
Stretched out weak hands toward the flame, 

Watched the sparks upward go, 
Till on the pale pinched face there came 

Some of the red fire's glow. 

Oh, is it blood that blinds mine eyes, 

Or is it driving snow? 
And are these but the wild wind's cries 

That drive me to and fro, 
That beat about mine ears and rise 

Wherever I may go? 

It 's red and black on Castle Hill I 

The people go to pray, 
A little wind sighs on, until 

The ashes float away ; 
And then God's earth is very still, 

For this is Christmas Day. 



RICCARDO STEPHENS 323 
A Ballad. 

The Autumn leaves went whispering by, 

Like ghosts that never slept. 
Up through the dusk a curlew's cry 

From glen to hill-top crept. 
The Dead Man heard the burn moan by 

And thought for him it wept 

Lapped in his grave, a night and day, 

The Dead Man marked the sound : 
He knew the moon rose far away, 

Grey shadows gathered round, 
Then down the glen, he heard the bay 

Raised by his great grey hound. 

A stag crashed out, and thundered back 

She never turned aside. 
The swollen stream ran cold and black, 

She leapt the waters wide, 
Nor paused, nor left the shadowy track 

Till at the dark grave side. 

"What brings you here, my great grey hound, 

What brings you here, alone? 
True I am dead, but is there found 

Beneath my board no bone? 

No rushy bed for your grey head 

Now I am dead and gone?" 

"Your brother reads your title-deeds, 

Your wife counts out red gold, 
And laughs in rich black widow's-weeds, 

Red-lipped and smooth and bold. 
I want no bone, to gnaw alone, 

Now that your hand is cold." 

The Dead Man laughed in scornful hate, 
While the great hound growled low, 



324 LYRA CELTICA 

" Last night I rose to Heaven's gate," 

He said, "for I would know 
The best or worst dealt out by Fate, 
And whither I must go." 

He paused "My grave is damp and cold ; 

I feel the slow worms glide 
Smoothly and softly through the mould, 

And nestle by my side. 
What lives and moves, in wood and wold, 

Where love and laughter bide?" 

"The wild fowl fly across, and call 

In from the grey salt sea ; 
I scent the red stag by the Fall, 

He fears no more from me. 
The moon comes up, and over all 
She glimmers eerily." 

The corpse replied, "At Heaven's gates 
They stand to let me through, 

And there, years hence, a welcome waits 
False Wife and Brother too. 

Do what you will, my hound, and still 
Heaven holds no place for you. 

"With tooth and claw tear down to me, 
And Death shall be no tether. 

The swift red deer once more shall flee, 
Panting through burn and heather : 

And you and I once more shall be 
Hunting my hills together ! " 

That night the deer across the wold 

From dark to dawning fled ; 
The lady dreamt that, shroud-enrolled, 

A corpse had shared her bed ; 
But by the grave wind-swept and cold, 

The great grey hound lay dead ! 



RICCARDO STEPHENS 325 
Hell's Piper. 

O have ye heard of Angus Blair, 
Who lived long since in black Auchmair? 
And have ye heard old pipers tell 
His story how he piped in Hell? 
When Angus piped the old grew young, 
Crutches across the floor were flung; 
Nay more, 'twas said his witching breath 
Had robbed the grave, and cheated death. 

Above all else, a march of war 

Was what men praised and feared him for ; 

When that he played, like fire it ran 

In blood and brain of every man ; 

Then stiffened hair began to rise, 

Bent brows scowled over staring eyes ; 

Then, at his will, men spilt their blood 

Like water of a winter flood, 

Swearing, with Angus, ill or well, 

They'd charge light-hearted into Hell. 

Long years, through many a feast and fray, 
Did Piper Angus pipe his way ; 
Till, swept upon the swirling tide 
Of a night-charge, he sank and died. 

That night the Piper rose to tread 
The ways that lie before the dead. 
He saw God's battlements afar 
Blazing behind the utmost star, 
And turning in the chill night air, 
Thought he might find a shelter there. 

But as he turned to leave the earth, 
With all its music, maids, and mirth, 
The battered pipes beneath his feet 
Screamed out a wailing, last retreat ; 



326 LYRA CELTICA 

Then Piper Angus paused, and thought 
Of the wild work those pipes had wrought ; 
"But there," quoth he, "in peace and rest, 
Up there, the holy ones, the blest, 
Praise aye the Lord, and aye they sing, 
While golden harps and cymbals ring. 
To my wild march or mad strathspey 
The heavenly host would say me nay, 
And none would hear my chanter more 
Unless the Lord went out to war. 
But often have I heard men tell 
How they would follow pipes to Hell : 
That way I '11 try : in Hell maybe 
Some corner's kept for them and me." 

So said, so done for well content 
Down the dark way to Hell he went. 
The Chanter felt his finger-tips, 
The Blow-pipe thrilled between his lips, 
The Drones across his shoulder flung, 
Moaned till the Earth's foundations rung, 
The streamers flaunted on the blast 
As, striding smoke and shadow past, 
With bonnet cocked, and careless air, 
Piping his march, went Piper Blair. 

Down where the shackled earthquakes dwell 

Are piled the reeking halls of Hell. 

Their walls are steel, their gates are brass ; 

Round them four flaming rivers pass ; 

And sleepless sentinels are set 

On every point and parapet, 

To hedge the souls whose far-off cries 

Up to the world may never rise. 

That night, so still the whole place seemed, 
You 'd think all Hell had peace, and dreamed, 
For the dark Master, brooding aye 
Over lost hope and ancient fray, 



RICCARDO STEPHENS 327 

Had, from his vantage, pale and grim, 

Perchance to please a passing whim, 

Hissed down a word which quelled and cowed 

And silenced all that shuddering crowd. 

So now aloft upon his throne 

He sat indifferent, alone, 

While poor damned souls who dared not cry 

In writhing droves went whirling by. 

These, dumb, before he noted aught, 

Some strange and wandering sound now caught. 

And first a little note they heard 
Far off and like a lonely bird ; 
And then it grew, and grew, and grew, 
As near and nearer still it drew, 
Until Hell's Lord in slow surprise 
Turned on the gates his weary eyes. 

Then they that bent beneath a load 
Stood up, nor felt the fiery goad. 
Then they that trod on forks of flame 
Tramped to the wild notes as they came. 
Then, look, old foes of long ago 
Feel old revenge revive and glow. 
Then, heedless of the flaming whip, 
They roll in one another's grip 
With shout and shriek and throttled jeer, 
And over all the pipes rang clear. 

But from the march those pipes turned soon, 
And sank, to sing another tune ; 
A low lament, whose sobbing wail 
Filled aching hearts and made them fail. 
And they that fought a breath ago 
Now wept at one another's woe. 

A second change a lilting air 
Made Hell look bright, made Hell look fair, 
And wretches gasping new from death 
Followed the tune beneath their breath 



328 LYRA CELTICA 

Then, piping yet, erect, alone, 
The Piper stood before the throne. 

Up rose the Master in his place, 

Eyeing the Piper's careless face, 
" No room, no room in Hell can be 

For Piper Angus Blair," cried he ; 
"Would to such sounds my host had trod 

Ere I was hurled down here by God ; 

Mine hadst thou been, before I fell, 

I 'd rule in Heav'n now not in Hell. 

Then every night and every day 

On Heav'n's high ramparts shouldst thou play, 

But here here's neither war nor mirth, 

Nor more in Heav'n ; so back to Earth." 

Thus now, as over glen and brae 

The wild wind wanders on its way, 

Dead Piper Angus Blair goes too, 

And pipes and pipes the whole world through. 

Unseen, unknown he goes. To-day 

He'll pipe perchance for bairns at play 

To set them dancing: maybe steal 

To-night to watch a roaring reel. 

There, when the panting pipers tire, 

He joins, and sets all hearts afire ; 

And ere the dawn his pipes have pealed 

Fiercely across some stricken field. 

But when each year is at its close 

Right down the road to Hell he goes. 

There the gaunt porters all a-grin 

Fling back the gates to let him in, 

Then damned and devil, one and all, 

Make mirth and hold high carnival, 

The while the Master sits apart 

Plotting rebellion in his heart. 

Till, when above the dawn is grey, 

The Piper turns and tramps away. 






VII 

MODERN AND 
CONTEMPOR- 
ARY BRETON 



O Breiz-Izel, O Kaera bro! 

Koat enn hi c 1 Arete, mor enn he zro ! 



MEDIAEVAL BRETON 331 

The Poor Clerk. 
(Ar C'Hloarek Paour.) 

My wooden shoes I 've lost them, my naked feet I 've 

torn 
A- folio wing my sweeting through field and brake of 

thorn; 
The rain may beat, and fall the sleet, and ice chill to 

the bone, 
But they 're no stay to hold away the lover from his own. 

My sweeting is no older than I that love her so : 
She's scarce seventeen, her face is fair, her cheeks like 

roses glow. 
In her eyes there is a fire, sweetest speech her lips doth 

part; 
Her love it is a prison where I 've locked up my heart. 

Oh, to what shall I liken her, that a wrong it shall not 
be? 

To the pretty little white rose, that is called Rose- 
Marie? 

The pearl of girls ; the lily when among the flowers it 
grows, 

The lily newly opened, among flowers about to close. 

When I came to thee a-wooing, my sweet, my gentle 

May, 

I was as is the nightingale upon the hawthorn spray : 
When he would sleep the thorns they keep a-pricking in 

his breast, 
That he flies up perforce and sings upon the tree's tall 

crest 

I am as is the nightingale, or as a soul must be 
That in the purgatory fires lies longing to be free, 



332 LYRA CELTICA 

Waiting the blessed time when I unto your house shall 

come, 
All with the marriage-messenger* bearing his branch of 

broom. 

Ah, me! my stars are froward: 'gainst nature is my 

state; 
Since in this world I came I 've dreed a dark and dismal 

fate: 
I have nor living kin nor friends, mother nor father 

dear, 
There is no Christian on earth to wish me happy here. 

There lives no one hath had to bear so much of grief 

and shame 
For your sweet sake as I have, since in this world I 

came ; 
And therefore on my bended knees, in God's dear name 

I sue, 
Have pity on your own poor clerk, that loveth only you ! 



*The bazvalan, the bearer of the rod of broom. 



MEDIEVAL BRETON 333 

The Cross by the Way. 
(Kroaz ann Kent.) 

Sweet in the green-wood a birdie sings, 
Golden-yellow its two bright wings, 
Red its heartikin, blue its crest : 
Oh, but it sings with the sweetest breast ! 

Early, early it 'lighted down 
On the edge of my ingle-stone, 
As I prayed my morning prayer, 
"Tell me thy errand, birdie fair." 

Then sung it as many sweet things to me 
As there are roses on the rose-tree : 
"Take a sweetheart, lad, an' you may; 
To gladden your heart both night and day." 

Past the cross by the way as I went, 
Monday, I saw her fair as a saint : 
Sunday, I will go to mass, 
There on the green I '11 see her pass. 

Water poured in a beaker clear, 
Dimmer shows than the eyes of my dear ; 
Pearls themselves are not more bright 
Than her little teeth, pure and white. 

Then her hands and her cheek of snow, 
Whiter than milk in a black pail, show. 
Yes, if you could my sweetheart see, 
She would charm the heart from thee. 

Had I as many crowns at my beck, 
As hath the Marquis of Poncalec ; 
Had I a gold-mine at my door, 
Wanting my sweetheart, I were poor. 



334 LYRA CELTICA 

If on my door-sill up should come 
Golden flowers for furze and broom, 
Till my court were with gold piled high, 
Little I 'd reck, but she were by. 

Doves must have their close warm nest, 
Corpses must have the tomb for rest ; 
Souls to Paradise must depart, 
And I, my love, must to thy heart. 

Every Monday at dawn of day 
I '11 on my knees to the cross by the way ; 
At the new cross by the way I '11 bend, 
In thy honour, my gentle friend ! 



LATER BRETON 335 

The Secrets of the Clerk. 

Each night, each night, as on my bed I lie, 
I do not sleep, but turn myself and cry. 

I do not sleep, but turn myself and weep, 
When I think of her I love so deep. 

Each day I seek the Wood of Love so dear, 
In hopes to see you at its streamlet clear. 

When I see you come through the forest grove, 
On its leaves I write the secret of my love. 

But a fragile trust are the forest leaves, 

To hold the secrets close which their page receives. 

When comes the storm of rain, and gusty air, 
Your secrets close are scattered everywhere. 

'Twere safer far, young clerk, on my heart to write. 
Graven deep they'd rest, and never take their flight. 



336 MODERN BRETON 
Love Song. 

In the white cabin at the foot of the mountain, 
Is my sweet, my love : 

Is my love, is my desire, 
And all my happiness. 

Before the night must I see her 
Or my little heart will break. 

My little heart will not break, 
For my lovely dear I have seen. 

Fifty nights I have been 

At the threshold of her door ; she did not know it 

The rain and the wind whipped me, 
Until my garments dripped. 

Nothing came to console me 

Except the sound of breathing from her bed. 

Except the sound of breathing from her bed, 
Which came through the little hole of the key. 

Three pairs of shoes I have worn out, 
Her thought I do not know. 

The fourth pair I have begun to wear, 
Her thought I do not know. 

Five pairs, alas, in good count, 
Her thought I do not know. 

If it is my thought you wish to know, 
It is not I who will make a mystery of it 

There are three roads on each side of my house, 
Choose one among them. 

Choose whichever you like among them, 
Provided it will take you far from here. 



MODERN BRETON 337 

More is worth love, since it pleases me, 

Than wealth with which I do not know what to do. 

Wealth comes, and wealth it goes away, 
Wealth serves for nothing. 

Wealth passes like the yellow pears : 
Love endures for ever. 

More is worth a handful of love 
Than an oven full of gold and silver. 



338 HERV-NOEL LE BRETON 
Hymn to Sleep. 

Keeper of the keys of Heaven, 
Lingering near the starry Seven ! 
Guardian of the gates of Hell, 
Hushed beneath thy drowsy spell 1 

Fold thy wings and come to me, 

Sleep ! thou soul's euthanasy. 

When the pilgrim of strange lore 
Haunts thy pale phantasmal shore, 
Dreams and absolution grant, 
Priestess thou and hierophant 1 

Fold thy wings and come to me, 

Sleep I thou soul's euthanasy. 

Builder of eternal towers ! 
Weaver of enchanted bowers ! 
Thou dost forge the fighter's arms, 
Thee the lover woos for charms : 

Fold thy wings and come to me, 

Sleep 1 thou soul's euthanasy. 

Thou dost soothe the virgin's fears, 
Thou dost staunch the widow's tears, 
Smooth the wrinkled brows of Care, 
Still the cries of wild Despair : 

Fold thy wings and come to me, 

Sleep! thou soul's euthanasy. 

Healer of the sores of shame ! 
Cleanser of the unholy flame I 
Thou dost breathe beatitude 
On the evil and the good : 

Fold thy wings and come to me, 

Sleep I thou soul's euthanasy. 



HERV6-NOEL LE BRETON 339 

When the cup that Pleasure sips 
Turns to wormwood on the lips ; 
When Remorse, with venomed mesh, 
Frets and tears the writhing flesh : 

Fold thy wings and come to me, 

Sleep 1 thou soul's euthanasy. 

Queller of the storms of Fate ! 
Quencher of the fires of Hate ! 
In thy peaceful bosom furled 
Lies the turmoil of the world : 

Fold thy wings and come to me, 

Sleep 1 thou soul's euthanasy. 

Calm as noon's abysmal blue, 
Soundless as the falling dew, 
Soft as snow with fleecy plumes, 
Sweet as curling incense-fumes : 

Fold thy wings and come to me, 

Sleep 1 thou soul's euthanasy. 

Keeper of the keys of Heaven ! 
(Cease your vigil, starry Seven) 
Guardian of the gates of Hell ! 
(Loosen not the drowsed spell) 

Fold thy wings and come to me, 

Sleep I thou soul's euthanasy. 



340 LYRA CELTICA 

The Burden of Lost Souls. 

This was our sin. When Hope, with wings enchanted 

And shining aureole, 
Hung on the blossomed steps of Youth and haunted 

The chancel of the soul ; 

When we whose lips haply had blown the bugle 
That cheers the wavering line, 

And solaced those to whom the world was frugal 
Of Love, the food divine ; 

Whose hands had strength to strike men's chains asunder 
And heal the poor man's wrong, 

Whose breath was blended with the chords that thunder 
Along the aisles of song ; 

Whose eyes had seen and hailed the Light of Ages, 

In cloudiest heavens a star, 
Whose ears had heard, on ringing wheels, the stages 

Of Freedom's trophied car : 

We turned, rebellious children, to the clamour 

And tumult of the world ; 
We gave our souls in fee for Circe's glamour 

And white limbs lightly whirled ; 

We drank deep draughts of Moloch's unclean liquor 

Even to the dregs of shame, 
And blinded by the golden lights that flicker 

From Mammon's altar-flame 

We burned strange incense, bowed before his idol 

Whose eucharist is fire, 
And on the neck of passion loosed the bridle 

Of fierce and wild desire : 



HERV-NOEL LE BRETON 341 

Till now in our own hearts the ashy embers 

Of Love lie smouldering, 
And scarce our Autumn chill and bare remembers 

The glory of the Spring ; 

While faith, that in the mire was fain to wallow, 

Returns at last to find 
The cold fanes desolate, the niches hollow, 

The windows dim and blind, 

And, strown with ruins round, the shattered relic 

Of unregardful youth, 
Where shapes of beauty once, with tongues angelic, 

Whispered the runes of Truth. 



342 VILLIERS DE L'ISLE-ADAM 
Confession. 

Since I have lost the words, the flower 
Of youth and the fresh April breeze . . . 

Give me thy lips ; their perfumed dower 
Shall be the whisper of the trees ! 

Since I have lost the deep sea's sadness, 

Her sobs, her restless surge, her graves . . . 

Breathe but a word ; its grief or gladness 
Shall be the murmur of the waves ! 

Since in my soul a sombre blossom 
Broods, and the suns of yore take flight . . . 

O hide me in thy pallid bosom, 
And it shall be the calm of night 1 



VILLIERS DE L'ISLE-ADAM 343 
Discouragement. 

Athwart the unclean ages whirled 

To solitary woods sublime, 
Oh ! had I first beheld this world 

Alone and free in Nature's prime ! 

When on its loveliness first seen 

Eve cast her pure blue eyes abroad : 
When all the earth was fresh and green, 

And simple Man believed in God ! 

When sacred accents, vibrating 

Beneath the naked sun and sky, 
Rose from each new-created thing 

To hail the Lord of Life on high ; 

I would have learned and lived in hope 
And loved ! For in those vanished days, 

Faith wandered on the mountain-slope . . . 
But now the world has changed her ways : 

Our feet, less free, less fugitive, 

Tread beaten tracks from shore to shore . . . 
Alas! what is the life we live? 

A dream of days that are no more I 



344 LECONTE DE LISLE 
The Black Panther. 

Along the rosy cloud light steals and twinkles ; 

The East is flecked with golden filigree : 
Night from her loosened necklace slowly sprinkles 

Pearl-clusters on the sea. 

Clasped on the bosom of the sparkling azure 
Soft skirts of flame trail like a flowing train, 

And cast on emerald blades a bright emblazure, 
Like drops of fiery rain. 

The dew shines, like a sheaf of splendour shaken, 
On cinnamon leaves and lychee's purple flesh ; 

Among the drowsed bamboos the wind's wings waken 
A myriad whisperings fresh. 

From mounds and woods, from mossy tufts and flowers, 
In the warm air, with sudden tremours thrilled, 

Fragrance bursts forth in sweet and subtile showers, 
With feverish rapture filled. 

By virgin jungle-track and hidden hollow, 
Where in the morning sun smoke tangled weeds, 

And where live streams their winding channels follow 
Through arches of green reeds, 

Steals the black panther from her midnight prowling, 
With dawn turned to the lair in which her cubs 

Among smooth shining bones, with hunger growling, 
Grovel beneath the shrubs. 

Restless she slinks along, with arrowy flashes 
That scan the shadows of the drooping wood. 

The bright, fresh-sprinkled crimsoned dew that dashes 
Her velvet skin is blood. 



LECONTE DE LISLE 345 

Behind she drags the relict of her quarry 
Torn from the stricken stag, a mangled spoil 

That leaves a loathsome trail and sanguinary 
Along the moss-flowered soil. 

Round her the tawny bees and light-winged dragons 
Flit fearless as she glides with supple flanks ; 

And clustering foliage from a thousand flagons 
Pours fragrance on the banks. 

The python, through a scarlet cactus peering, 
Slowly above the bush lifts his flat head 

And curious eyes, his scaly folds uprearing 
To watch her stealthy tread. 

She glides in silence into the tall bracken, 
Then plunges lost beneath the lichened boughs : 

Air burns in the vast light, earth's noises slacken, 
And wood and welkin drowse. 



346 LYRA CELTICA 

The Spring. 

A live spring sparkles in the bosky gloom, 

Hidden from the noonday glare ; 
The green reeds bend above its banks and there 

Blue-bells and violets bloom. 

No kids that batten on the bitter herb, 

On slopes of the near hill, 
Nor shepherd's song, nor flute-note sweet and shrill, 

Its crystal source disturb. 

Hard by, the dark oaks weave a peaceful screen 

Whose shade the wild-bee loves, 
And nestled in dense leaves the murmuring doves 

Their ruffled plumage preen. 

The lazy stags in mossy thickets browse 

And sniff the lingering dew ; 
Beneath cool leaves, that let the sunlight through, 

The languorous Sylvans drowse. 

White Nai's, near the sacred spring that drips, 

Closing her lids awhile, 
Dreams as she slumbers, and a radiant smile 

Floats on her purple lips. 

No eye, kindling with love's desire, has scanned 

Beneath those lucent veils 
The nymph whose snowy limbs and hair that trails 

Gleam on the silvery sand. 

None gazed on the soft cheek, suffused with youth, 

The splendid bosom's swerve, 
The ivory neck, the shoulder's delicate curve, 

White arms and innocent mouth. 



LECONTE DE LISLE 347 

But now the lecherous Faun, that haunts the grove, 

Spies from his leafy trench 
Those supple flanks, kissed by the oozy drench 

As with a kiss of love ; 

Then laughs, as when the Satyr's wanton imps 

A wood-nymph's bower assail, 
And, waking with the sound the virgin pale 

Flies like the lightning-glimpse. 

Even as the Naiad, haunting the clear stream, 

Slumbers in woods obscure, 
Fly from the impious look and laugh impure 

O Beauty, the soul's dream 1 



348 LEO-KERMORVAN 
The Return of Taliesen. 

On my lips the speech, in my ears the sound of the 

Armorican : 

I hear the voice of Esus by the shores of the ocean, 
And the songs which the great bard Ossian 
Resings by the ancient dolmen. 

Many times since this, my twelfth rebirth on earth, 
Have I seen the mistletoe grow green on the oak, 
Seen the yellow crocus, the sunbright, and the vervein 
Bloom again in the woodlands : 

But never shall I see again the white-robed Druid of old 
Seek the sacred mistletoe as one seeketh a treasure ; 
Never more shall I see him cut the living plant 
With his golden sickle. 

Alas ! the valiant chiefs with the flowing locks ! 
All sleep in the cairns, beneath the fresh green grass ; 
In vain my voice o'er the fields of the dead lamenting 
" Vengeance I Treason I ^ . 

" Be swift, Revenge, on the feet of the sorrows of Arvor ! " 
Alas, dull echoes alone answer my wailing summons. 
Treason, indeed, and Vengeance 1 for lo, in the hallowed 
Ne~medes 

The wayside flaunt of the Cross ! 

Tarann no longer sends forth his terror of thunder 1 
Camul no longer laughs behind the strength of his arm 1 
Tentates, rising in wrath, has not yet crumbled the 
earth; 

Esus is deaf to our call I 

Whither, O whither fled are ye, ye powerful, redoubt- 
able gods; 

And ye, ye famous Druids, the glory and terror of Armor ? 

Who has usurped, who has o'erwhelmed ye, unconquer- 
able knights, 

Warriors of the golden collar ? 



LEO-KERMORVAN 349 

Thou, who harkenest, I have been in the place of the 

Ancients ! 

I, alone among mortals, thence have issued alive : 
Alas, the temple was deserted : I saw nought but some 

wind-haunted oaks 

Swaying in the silence. 

All is fugitive! pride, pleasure, the song, the dance, 
Blithe joys of friendship, noble rivalries all : 
The keen swift song of the swords, the whistling 
lances ! 

Dreams of a dreamer all ! ... But no, 

A new dawn wakes and laughs on the breast of the 
darkness ; 

Earth has her sunshine still, the grave her Spring ; 

Many a time Dylan hath oared me afar in the death- 
barque, 

Many a death-sleep mine, and long! 

For long I have slept with the heavy sleep of the dead, 
Ofttimes my fugitive body has passed into divers forms, 
I have spread strong wings on the air, I have swum in 
dark waters, 

I have crawled in the woods. 

But, amid all these manifold changes, my soul 
Remaineth ever the same : it is always, always "myself" I 
And now I see well that this is the law of all that 
liveth, 

Though none beholdeth the reason, none the 
end. 

Still stand our lonely menhirs, and still the wayfarer 

shudders 
As in the desolate dusk he passes these Stones of 

Silence ! 

Thou speakest, I understand ! Thy Breton tongue 
Is that of the ancient Kymry. 



350 LYRA CELTICA 

Lights steal through the hours of shadow flame -lit for 

unknown saints, 

As, in the days of old, our torches flared on the night : 
Ah, before ever these sacred lamps shone for your meek 

apostles, 

They burned for Heol. 

Blind without reason are we, thus changing the names 

of the gods : 
Thus, mayhap, we think to destroy them, we who 

abandon their altars ! 
But, cold, calm, unsmiling before our laughter and 

curses, 

The gods wait, immortal. 

Yea, while the sacred fires still burn along the hill-tops, 
Yea, while a single lichened menhir still looms from the 

brushwood, 
Yea, whether they name thee Armorica, Brittany, Breiz- 

Izel, 

Thou art ever the same dear land 1 

Ah, soul of me ofttimes to thee, Land of mystery ! 
Ofttimes again shall I breathe in thy charmed air! 
Sure, every weary singer knoweth the secret name of 
thee, 

Land of Heart's Desire! 

Enduring thou art ! For not the slow frost of the ages 
Shall dim from thy past thy glory immortally graven ! 
Granite thy soil, thy soul, loved nest of Celtic nations I 
Sings the lost Voice, Taliesin. 



LOUIS TIERCELIN 351 
By Menec'hi Shore. 

Sad the sea-moan that echoes through my dream, 
And sad the auroral sky suffused with gold, 
Sad the blue wave that croons along the shore 

O Joy of Night in whose still calms I sleep I 

Sadness of love, and O tired heart of man : 
Sadness of hope, and all brave vows that be : 
Sadness of joy itself, the joys we know 1 

Joy of Oblivion, is there bliss with thee? 

Sad is the splendour, glory, the bright flame 

And laughter of the soul, since underneath 

Dreams and Desires veiled Mystery broods obscure . . . 

O Joy of Death, with thee the Vials of Peace 1 



VIII 
THE CELTIC FRINGE 



BLISS CARMAN 355 

Song. 

Love, by that loosened hair 
Well now I know 
Where the lost Lilith went 
So long ago. 

Love, by those starry eyes 
I understand 

How the sea-maidens lure 
Mortals from land. 

Love, by that welling laugh 
Joy claims his own 
Sea-born and wind-wayward 
Child of the sun. 



356 LYRA CELTICA 

The War-Song of Gamelbar. 

Bowmen, shout for Gamelbar ! 

Winds, unthrottle the wolves of war ! 

Heave a breath 

And dare a death 

For the doom of Gamelbar ! 

Wealth for Gamel, 

Wine for Gamel, 

Crimson wine for Gamelbar! 

Chorus : Oh, sleep for a knave 

With his sins in the sod ! 
And death for the brave, 
With his glory up to God ! 
And joy for the girl, 
And ease for the churl! 
But the great game of war 
For our lord Gamelbar, 
Gamelbar ! 

Spearmen, shout for Gamelbar, 

With his warriors thirty score ! 

Heave a sword 

For our overlord, 

Lord of warriors, Gamelbar ! 

Life for Gamel, 

Love for Gamel, 

Lady-loves for Gamelbar ! 

Horsemen, shout for Gamelbar! 

Swim the ford and climb the scaur ! 

Heave a hand 

For the maiden land, 

The maiden land of Gamelbar ! 

Glory for Gamel, 

Gold for Gamel, 

Yellow gold for Gamelbar ! 



BLISS CARMAN 357 

Armourers for Gamelbar, 

Rivet and forge and fear no scar ! 

Heave a hammer 

With anvil clamour, 

To weld and brace for Gamelbar ! 

Ring for Gamel, 

Rung for Gamel, 

Ring-rung-ring for Gamelbar! 



Yeomen, shout for Gamelbar, 

And his battle-hand in war ! 

Heave his pennon ; 

Cheer his men on, 

In the ranks of Gamelbar I 

Strength for Gamel, 

Song for Gamel, 

One war-song for Gamelbar ! 

Roncliffe, shout for Gamelbar! 
Menthorpe, Bryan, Castelfar ! 
Heave, Thorparch 
Of the Waving Larch, 
And Spofford's thane, for Gamelbar ! 
Blaise for Gamel, 
Brame for Gamel, 
Rougharlington for Gamelbar! 



Maidens, strew for Gamelbar 

Roses down his way to war ! 

Heave a handful, 

Fill the land full 

Of your gifts to Gamelbar ! 

Dream of Gamel, 

Dance for Gamel, 

Dance in the halls for Gamelbar ! 



358 LYRA CELTICA 

Servitors, shout for Gamelbar! 

Roast the ox and stick the boar ! 

Heave a bone 

To gaunt Harone, 

The great war-hound of Gamelbar ! 

Mead for Gamel, 

Mirth for Gamel, 

Mirth at the board for Gamelbar 1 



Trumpets, speak for Gamelbar! 

Blare as ye never blared before ! 

Heave a bray 

In the horns to-day, 

The red war-horns of Gamelbar ! 

To-night for Gamel, 

The North for Gamel, 

With fires on the hills for Gamelbar ! 

Shout for Gamel, Gamelbar, 

Till your throats can shout no more 1 

Heave a cry 

As he rideth by, 

Sons of Orm, for Gamelbar I 

Folk for Gamel, 

Fame for Gamel, 

Years and fame for Gamelbar! 

Chorus : Oh, sleep for a knave 

With his sins in the sod ! 
And death for the brave, 
With his glory up to God ! 
And joy for the girl, 
And ease for the churl ! 
But the great game of war 
For our lord Gamelbar, 
Gamelbar ! 



BLISS CARMAN 359 

Golden Rowan. 

She lived where the mountains go down to the sea, 
And river and tide confer. 

Golden Rowan, in Menalowan, 
Was the name they gave to her. 

She had the soul no circumstance 
Can hurry or defer. 

Golden Rowan, of Menalowan, 
How time stood still for her ! 

Her playmates for their lovers grew, 
But that shy wanderer, 

Golden Rowan, of Menalowan, 
Knew love was not for her. 

Hers was the love of wilding things ; 
To hear a squirrel chirr 

In the golden rowan of Menalowan 
Was joy enough for her. 

She sleeps on the hill with the lonely sun, 
Where in the days that were, 

The golden rowan of Menalowan 
So often shadowed her. 

The scarlet fruit will come to fill, 
The scarlet spring to stir 

The golden rowan of Menalowan, 
And wake no dream for her. 

Only the wind is over her grave, 
For mourner and comforter ; 

And "Golden Rowan, of Menalowan," 
Is all we know of her. 



360 BLISS CARMAN 

A Sea Child. 

The lover of child Marjory 

Had one white hour of life brim full ; 
Now the old nurse, the rocking sea, 

Hath him to lull. 

The daughter of child Marjory 
Hath in her veins, to beat and run, 

The glad indomitable sea, 
The strong white sun. 



ELLEN MACKAY HUTCHINSON 361 
The Quest. 

It was a heavenly time of life 

When first I went to Spain, 
The lovely lands of silver mists, 

The land of golden grain. 

My little ship through unknown seas 

Sailed many a changing day ; 
Sometimes the chilling winds came up 

And blew across her way. 

Sometimes the rain came down and hid 

The shining shores of Spain, 
The beauty of the silver mists 

And of the golden grain. 

But through the rains and through the winds, 

Upon the untried sea, 
My fairy ship sailed on and on, 

With all my dreams and me. 

And now, no more a child, I long 

For that sweet time again, 
When on the far horizon bar 

Rose up the shores of Spain. 

lovely land of silver mists, 
O land of golden grain, 

1 look for you with smiles, with tears, 
But look for you in vain ! 



362 LYRA CELTICA 

Moth-Song. 

What dost thou here, 

Thou dusky courtier, 
Within the pinky palace of the rose ? 
Here is no bed for thee, 
No honeyed spicery, 
But for the golden bee, 
And the gay wind, and me 

Its sweetness grows. 
Rover, thou dost forget; 
Seek thou the passion-flower 
Bloom of one twilight hour. 

Haste, thou art late I 
Its hidden savours wait 

For thee is spread 
Its soft, purple coverlet ; 

Moth, art thou sped? 
Dim as a ghost he flies 
Through the night mysteries. 



ELLEN MACKAY HUTCHINSON 363 
June. 

Of silvery-shining rains 
And noonday golds and shadows 

June weaves wild-daisy chains 
For happy meadows. 

She stoops to set the stream 

With scented alder-bushes, 
And with the rainbow gleam 

Of iris 'mid the rushes, 
She scatters eglantine 
And scarlet columbine. 

Ah, June, my lovely lass, 

Sweetheart, dost thou not see 
I stay to watch thee pass 

What hast thou brought to me? 

Thy mystic ministries 

Of glorious far skies, 

Thy wild-rose sermons, Sweet, 

Like dreams profound and fleet, 

Thy woodland harmony 

Thou givest me. 

The vision that can see, 

The loving will to learn, 
How fair thy skies may be, 

What in thy roses burn, 
Thy secret harmonies, 
Ah, give me these 1 



364 HUGH M'CULLOCH 
Scent o' Pines. 

Love, shall I liken thee unto the rose 

That is so sweet? 

Nay, since for a single day she grows, 
Then scattered lies upon the garden-rows 

Beneath our feet. 

But to the perfume shed when forests nod, 

When noonday shines, 

That lulls us as we tread the woodland sod, 
Eternal as the peace of God 

The scent o' pines. 



DUNCAN CAMPBELL SCOTT 365 
The Reed-Player. 

By a dim shore where water darkening 

Took the last light of spring, 
I went beyond the tumult, barkening 

For some diviner thing. 

Where the bats flew from the black elms like leaves, 

Over the ebon pool 
Brooded the bittern's cry, as one that grieves 

Lands ancient, bountiful. 

I saw the fire-flies shine below the wood, 

Above the shallows dank, 
As Uriel, from some great altitude, 

The planets rank on rank. 

And now unseen along the shrouded mead 

One went under the hill ; 
He blew a cadence on his mellow reed, 

That trembled and was still. 

It seemed as if a line of amber fire 

Had shot the gathered dusk, 
As if had blown a wind from ancient Tyre 

Laden with myrrh and musk. 

He gave his luring note amid the fern ; 

Its enigmatic fall 
Haunted the hollow dusk with golden turn 

And argent interval. 

I could not know the message that he bore, 

The springs of life from me 
Hidden ; his incommunicable lore 

As much a mystery. 

And as I followed far the magic player 

He passed the maple wood ; 
And, when I passed, the stars had risen there, 

And there was solitude. 



366 THOMAS D'ARCY M'GEE 
The Celtic Cross. 

Through storm and fire and gloom, I see it stand 

Firm, broad, and tall, 
The Celtic Cross that marks our Fatherland, 

Amid them all ! 
Druids and Danes and Saxons vainly rage 

Around its base ; 
It standeth shock on shock, and age on age, 

Star of our scatter'd race. 

O Holy Cross ! dear symbol of the dread 

Death of our Lord, 
Around thee long have slept our martyr dead 

Sward over sward. 
An hundred bishops I myself can count 

Among the slain : 
Chiefs, captains, rank and file, a shining mount 

Of God's ripe grain. 

The monarch's mace, the Puritan's claymore, 

Smote thee not down ; 
On headland steep, on mountain summit hoar, 

In mart and town, 
In Glendalough, in Ara, in Tyrone, 

We find thee still, 
Thy open arms still stretching to thine own, 

O'er town and lough and hill. 

And would they tear thee out of Irish soil, 

The guilty fools! 
How time must mock their antiquated toil 

And broken tools ! 
Cranmer and Cromwell from thy grasp retir'd, 

Baffled and thrown ; 
William and Anne to sap thy site conspir'd, 

The rest is known. 



THOMAS D'ARCY M'GEE 367 

Holy Saint Patrick, father of our faith, 

Belov'd of God ! 
Shield thy dear Church from the impending scaith, 

Or, if the rod 
Must scourge it yet again, inspire and raise 

To emprise high 
Men like the heroic race of other days, 

Who joyed to die. 

Fear! wherefore should the Celtic people fear 

Their Church's fate? 
The day is not the day was never near 

Could desolate 
The Destin'd Island, all whose clay 

Is holy ground : 
Its Cross shall stand till that predestin'd day 

When Erin's self is drown'd. 



368 MARY C. G. BYRON 

(M. C. Gillington) 

The Tryst of the Night. 

Out of the uttermost ridge of dusk, where the dark and 

the day are mingled, 
The voice of the Night rose cold and calm it called 

through the shadow-swept air ; 
Through all the valleys and lone hillsides, it pierced, it 

thrilled, it tingled 
It summoned me forth to the wild sea-shore, to meet 

with its mystery there. 

Out of the deep ineffable blue, with palpitant swift 

repeating 
Of gleam and glitter and opaline glow, that broke in 

ripples of light 
In burning glory it came and went, I heard, I saw it 

beating, 
Pulse by pulse, from star to star, the passionate heart 

of the Night ! 

Out of the thud of the rustling sea the panting, 

yearning, throbbing 
Waves that stole on the startled shore, with coo and 

mutter of spray 
The wail of the Night came fitful-faint, I heard her 

stifled sobbing: 
The cold salt drops fell slowly, slowly, gray into gulfs 

of gray. 

There through the darkness the great world reeled, and 

the great tides roared, assembling 
Murmuring hidden things that are past, and secret 

things that shall be ; 
There at the limits of life we met, and touched with a 

rapturous trembling 
One with each other, I and the Night, and the skies, 

and the stars, and sea. 



ALICE E. GILLINGTON 369 
The Doom-Bar. 

d'you hear the seas complainin', and complainin', 

whilst it 's rainin' ? 

Did you hear it mourn in the dimorts,* when the surf 
woke up and sighed? 

The choughs screamed on the sand, 
And the foam flew over land, 

And the seas rolled dark on the Doom- Bar at rising of 
the tide. 

1 gave my lad a token, when he left me nigh heart- 

broken, 

To mind him of old Padstow town, where loving souls 
abide ; 

'Twas a ring with the words set 
All round, "Can Love Forget?" 

And I watched his vessel toss on the Bar with the 
outward-turning tide. 

D'you hear the seas complainin', and complainin', while 

it's rainin'? 

And his vessel has never crossed the Bar from the purple 
seas outside ; 

And down the shell-pink sands, 
Where we once went, holding hands, 
Alone I watch the Doom-Bar and the rising of the tide. 

One day 'twas four years after the harbour-girls, with 

laughter 

So soft and wild as sea-gulls when they 're playing seek- 
and-hide, 

Coaxed me out for the tides were lower 
Than had ever been known before; 
And we ran across the Doom- Bar, all white and shining 
wide. 

* Twilight 

2 A 



370 LYRA CELTICA 

I saw a something shinin', where the long, wet weeds 

were twinin' 

Around a rosy scallop ; and a gold ring lay inside ; 
And around its rim were set 
The words "Can Love Forget?" 
And there upon the Doom- Bar I knelt and sobbed and 
cried. 

I took my ring and smoothed it where the sand and 

shells had grooved it; 

But OI St Petrock bells will never ring me home a 
bride I 

For the night my lad was leavin' 
Me, all tearful-eyed and grievin', 

He had tossed my keepsake out on the Bar to the rise 
and fall of the tide 1 

D' you hear the seas complainin', and complainin', while 

it's rainin'? 

Did you hear them call in the dimorts, when the surf 
woke up and sighed? 

Maybe it is a token 
I shall go no more heart-broken 

And I shall cross the Doom- Bar at the turning of the 
tide. 



ALICE E. GILLINGTON 371 
The Seven Whistlers. 

Whistling strangely, whistling sadly, whistling sweet 

and clear, 
The Seven Whistlers have passed thy house, Pentruan 

of Porthmeor ; 

It was not in the morning, nor the noonday's golden grace, 
It was in the dead waste midnight, when the tide yelped 

loud in the Race : 
The tide swings round in the Race, and they 're plaining 

whisht and low, 
And they come from the gray sea-marshes, where the 

gray sea-lavenders grow, 
And the cotton-grass sways to and fro ; 
And the gore-sprent sundews thrive 
With oozy hands alive. 
Canst hear the curlews' whistle through thy dreamings 

dark and drear, 

How they're crying, crying, crying, Pentruan of Porth- 
meor? 

Shall thy hatchment, mouldering grimly in yon church 

amid the sands, 

Stay trouble from thy household ? Or the carven cherub- 
hands 
Which hold thy shield to the font ? Or the gauntlets on 

the wall 
Keep evil from its onward course as the great tides rise 

and fall ? 

The great tides rise and fall, and the cave sucks in the breath 
Of the wave when it runs with tossing spray, and the 

ground-sea rattles of Death ; 

44 1 rise in the shallows," 'a saith, 

"Where the mermaid's kettle sings, 

And the black shag flaps his wings ! " 
Ay, the green sea-mountain leaping may lead horror in 

its rear, 
When thy drenched sail leans to its yawning trough, 

Pentruan of Porthmeor I 



372 LYRA CELTICA 

Yet the stoup waits at thy doorway for its load of 
glittering ore, 

And thy ships lie in the tideway, and thy flocks along 
the moor; 

And thine arishes gleam softly when the October moon- 
beams wane, 

When in the bay all shining the fishers set the seine ; 

The fishers cast the seine, and 'tis "Heval" in the 
town, 

And from the watch-rock on the hill the huers are 
shouting down ; 

And ye hoist the mainsail brown, 
As over the deep-sea roll 
The lurker follows the shoal ; 

To follow and to follow, in the moonshine silver-clear, 

When the halyards creek to thy dipping sail, Pentruan 
of Porthmeor 1 

And wailing, and complaining, and whistling whisht and 
clear, 

The Seven Whistlers have passed thy house, Pentruan 
of Porthmeor ! 

It was not in the morning, nor the noonday's golden 
grace, 

It was in the fearsome midnight, when the tide-dogs 
yelped in the Race : 

The tide swings round in the Race, and they're 
whistling whisht and low, 

And they come from the lonely heather, where the fur- 
edged foxgloves blow, 
And the moor-grass sways to and fro, 
Where the yellow moor-birds sigh, 
And the sea-cooled wind sweeps by. 

Canst hear the curlews' whistle through the darkness 
wild and drear, 

How they 're calling, calling, calling, Pentruan of Porth- 
meor? 



NOTES 



NOTES 

ANCIENT IRISH AND SCOTTISH 

THE MYSTERY OF AMERGIN. PAGE 3 

Of this strange pantheistical fragment, Dr Douglas Hyde 
writes : " The first poem written in Ireland is said to have 
been the work of Amergin, who was brother of Evir, Ir, and 
Eremon, the first Milesian princes who colonised Ireland 
many hundred of years before Christ. The three short 
pieces of verse ascribed to Amergin are certainly very 
ancient and very strange. But, as the whole story of the 
Milesian invasion is wrapped in mystery and is quite 
possibly only a rationalised account of early Irish mythology 
(in which the Tuatha De Danann, Firbolgs, and possibly 
Milesians, are nothing but the gods of the early Irish 
euhemerised into men), no faith can be placed in the alleged 
date or genuineness of Amergin's verses. They are, how- 
ever, of interest, because as Irish tradition has always 
represented them as being the first verses made in Ireland, 
so it may very well be that they actually do present the 
oldest surviving lines in any vernacular tongue in Europe 
except Greek." 

THE SONG OF FIONN. PAGE 4 

"The Song of Finn MacCool, composed after his eating 
of the Salmon of Knowledge." This, if not the earliest, 
is almost the earliest authentic fragment of Erse poetry. 
The translation is after O' Donovan and Dr Douglas Hyde. 

CREDHE'S LAMENT. PAGE 5 

From The Colloquy of the Ancients (called also " The 
Dialogue of the Sages," and by other analogues), translated 
by Standish Hayes O'Grady (vide The Book of Lismore ; 
Silva Gadelica; etc.). See specific mention in Introduction. 

CUCHULLIN IN HIS CHARIOT. PAGE 6 

(Source: Hector MacLean's Ultonian Hero Ballads, 
See Introduction.) 

375 



376 



LYRA CELTICA 



DEIRDRE'S LAMENT FOR THE SONS OF USNACH. PAGE 8 

Of the many Irish-Gaelic and Scottish-Gaelic and English 

translations and paraphrases, I have selected the rendering 

of Sir Samuel Ferguson. The original Erse is of unknown 

antiquity. (See Introduction. ) 

THE LAMENT OF QUEEN MAEV. PAGE IO 

This admirable translation is by Mr T. W. Rolleston 
(vide Note to p. 166), after the original in The Book of 
Leinster. 

THE MARCH OF THE FAERIE HOST. PAGE 12 

This striking poem is given as translated by Professor 
Kuno Meyer. It and other verses are to be found, in the 
original, in The Book of Lismore (i5th century). The 
particular narrative therein deals with the visit of Laegaire 
mac Crimthainn to the land of Faerie. The episodic 
portion of this narrative has been translated and edited 
by Mr Standish Hayes O'Grady (see Silva Gadelica) ; 
but the general reader may be more interested in the brief 
and lucid commentary of Professor Kuno Meyer (see The 
Voyage of Bran with Essay on the Celtic Elysium, by 
Mr Alfred Nutt recently published by D. Nutt). Professor 
Meyer considers this and the other verses of " Laegaire 
mac Crimthainn " to be as old as the loth century period. 
" The Faerie Host," as here given, is fragmentary, being 
part of an episode ; but I have further curtailed it by three 
lines, for the sake of effect and unity of impression. The 
other three lines are 

" At all times melodious are they, 
Quick-witted irr song-making, 
Skilled at p\a.ymgjiachell." 

VISION OF A FAIR WOMAN. PAGE 13 

This characteristic Scoto-Celtic poem is supposed by 
some scholars to be very ancient. The Gaelic version 
permits of some doubt on the conjecture, but the text is not 
in this instance conclusive. The " Aisling" will be found 
in Smith's Collection of Ancient Poems, from the Gaelic 
of Ossian, Ullin, Orran, and others (1780) the reputed 
originals of which were published in 1787. See, for easier re- 
ference, Nigel MacNeil's Literature of the Highlanders, p. 218. 

THE FIAN BANNERS. PAGE 14 

This paraphrase of an ancient poem is modern. The 
original is supposed to relate to the Scoto-Celtic and Viking 



NOTES 377 

wars of the nth century. (See Nigel MacNeil's Literature 
of the Highlanders, p. 117.) 

THE RUNE OF ST PATRICK ("THE FAEDH ; OR, THE CRY OF 
THE DEER"). PAGE 17 

This translation of the "Faedh," from The Book of 
Hymns (nth century), is by Charles Mangan. 

COLUMCILLE CECENIT. PAGE l8 

The version of Colum's Hymn here given is the translation 
of Dr Douglas Hyde, himself a poet, and one of the foremost 
living Irish folk-lorists. All students of Celtic literature 
should see his fascinating volume of metrical renderings of 
the old Erse, The Three Sorrows of Storytelling. (Vide 
Notes to p. 126.) 

COLUMCILLE FECIT. PAGE 2O 

This well-known poem is given as translated by Michael 
O'Curry, from an Irish MS. in the Burgundian Library of 
Brussels. 

THE SONG OF MURDOCH THE MONK. PAGE 22 

This " Monastic Shaving Song " is the version of Professor 
Blackie, as translated from Bishop Ewing's Book. 
DOMHNULL MAC FHIONNLAIDH. "THE AGED BARD'S WISH." 

PAGE 23 

Although this undoubtedly old Gaelic poem is attributed 
by its translators, Charles Edward Stuart and John Sobieski, 
to the early bard Domhnull mac Fhionnlaidh, there is no 
certainty (as they admit) either as to authorship or date. 
This version is taken from Ballads and Songs by Charles 
Edward Stuart and John Sobieski. 

" OSSIAN SANG." PAGE 28 

The original was jotted down in phonetic Gaelic by Dean 
Macgregor some 380 years ago. 

FINGAL AND ROS-CRANA. PAGE 2Q 

This is not part of the text of Macpherson's Ossian though 
the Englishing is by Macpherson, who attributes the original 
to Colgan, an ancient Scoto-Irish bard. It will be found 
in the Notes to Temora. (See Introduction.) 

THE NIGHT-SONG OF THE BARDS. PAGE 31 

Macpherson "translated" this, he avers, from an old 
Gaelic original. His version is to be found in the Notes 
to Croma. 

OSSIAN. "COMALA." PAGE 3$ 

I have selected this short poem as representative of 



378 LYRA CELTICA 

the semi- mythical Ossian of Macpherson. It is un- 
doubtedly ancient substantially. 

THE DEATH-SONG OF OSSIAN. PAGE 4! 

The close of ' ' The Songs of Selma. " ( See foregoing Note. 
ANCIENT CORNISH 

THE POOL OF PILATE. PAGE 45 

From the ancient Cornish drama, The Resurrection oj 

Christ (vide section: "The Death of Pilate"). See the 

volume on the subject by Mr Edwin Norris, referred to in 

Note to " The Vision of Seth." 

MERLIN THE DIVINER. PAGE 46 

( Vide Introduction. ) This, though it exists in the old 
Cornish dialect, is really an ancient Breton incantation. 
The Cornish variant is to be found in that invaluable 
depository of Armorican legendary lore, the Barzaz Breiz. 
The translation here given is by Thos. Stephens. ( Vide 
Thos. Stephens : a Memoir. Wm. Rees, Llandovery, 
1849.) 

THE VISION OF SETH. PAGE 47 

This dramatic fragment is from The Ancient Cornish 
Drama, edited and translated by Edwin Norris, Sec. R.A.S. 
(Oxford, 1859). 

ARMORICAN 

THE DANCE OF THE SWORD. PAGE 53 

( Vide Introduction. ) In Armorican, Gwin ar C'Hallaoued: 
Ha Korol or CHlezf i.e. The Wine of the Gauls, and the 
Dance of the Sword. Supposed to be the fragment of a 
Song that accompanied the old Celtic sword-dance in 
honour of the Sun. [This and the following translation by 
the late Tom Taylor are, by courteous permission of Messrs 
Macmillan, quoted from Ballads and Songs of Brittany 
(selections from the Barzaz Breiz of the Vicomte Hersart 
de la Villemarque). ] 

THE LORD NANN AND THE FAIRY. PAGE 55 

(By the same, and from the same source.) The 
" Korrigan " of Breton superstition has his familiar congeners 
in Celtic Scotland and Ireland ; and is identical with the 
" elf" of Scandinavian mythology and of the Danish ballads. 
In this English version of " The Lord Nann " the metre and 
divisions into stanzas of the original Armorican have been 



NOTES 379 

adhered to. The triplet indicates antiquity in Cambrian 
and Annorican compositions. 

ALAIN THE FOX. PAGE 58 

This and the following poem are from the same Franco- 
Breton source as their two predecessors, but are translated 
by Mr F. G. Fleay, M.A. (The Masterpieces of Breton 
Ballads. Printed for Private Circulation. Halifax, 1870). 

BRAN (THE CROW). PAGE 60 

See foregoing Note. 

EARLY CYMRIC 

THE SOUL. PAGE 67 

This strange fragment is of unknown antiquity, and may 

well be, as affirmed, of as remote a date as the 6th or even 

5th century. It is from that remarkable depository of early 

Cymric lore, The Black Book of Caermarthen (1154-1189). 

LLYWARC'H HEN. PAGE 68 

The "Gorwynion" of Llywarc'h Hen, "Prince of the 
Cambrian Britons " (if it is really the work of that poet), is 
one of the most famous productions of early Cymric liter- 
ature. Llywarc'h Hen's floreat is by some authorities 
placed in the middle of the 7th century, by others so 
early as the beginning of the 6th, and by others as really 
extending from early in the 6th till the middle of the 
7th : the drift of evidence indicates the remoter date 
as the more probable. The translation here given was 
made about a hundred years ago by William Owen. It is 
not easy to find an English equivalent for "Gorwynion," 
a plural word which signifies objects that have a very bright 
whiteness or glare. Perhaps the word glitterings might 
serve, though, as has been suggested, the nearest term 
would be Coruscants. The last line of these verses gener- 
ally contains some moral maxim, unconnected with the 
preceding lines, except in the metre. It is said that the 
custom arose through the desire of the bards to assist the 
memory in the conveyance of instruction by oral means. 
In the translation the rhymed or assonantal unity of the 
tercets is lost, with the result that the third-line maxim 
generally comes in with almost ludicrous inappositeness. 
According to the Triads of the Isle of Britain, Llywarc'h 
Hen passed his younger days at the Court of Arthur. In 



38o LYRA CELTICA 

one triad he is alluded to as one of the three free guests at 
the Arthurian Court ; in another, as one of the three 
counselling warriors. According to tradition, the bones of 
this princely bard lie beneath the Church of Llanvor, where, 
as averred, he was interred at the patriarchal age of 
150 years. He was not one of the Sacred Bards, 
because of his military profession as a prince and knight ; 
for these might not carry arms, and in their presence a 
naked sword even might not be held. The Beirdd were 
not poets and sages only, but were accounted and accepted 
as missioners of peace. 

LLYWARC'H HEN. PAGE 71 

This is another series of " Gorwynion," attributed to 
Llywarc'h Hen by Mr Skene, who has translated it from 
The Red Book of Hergest (MS. compiled in I4th and I5th 
centuries). The English rendering of The Red Book was 
issued through Messrs Edmonston & Douglas of Edinburgh 
in 1868. 

TALIESIN. PAGE 73 

" Song to the Wind " ( Vide Introduction). " The Song 
about the Wind," of which only a section is given here, 
will be found in full in Skene's Four Ancient Books of Wales, 
Vol. I., page 535, and is the most famous poem by the most 
famous of Cymric bards. It was first translated, some forty- 
five years ago, by Lady Charlotte Guest, whose Englished 
renderings of the " Mabinogion" attracted the attention of 
scholars throughout the whole Western world. (Longmans, 
1849 and later.) Emerson delighted in the "Song," and 
declared it to be one of the finest pieces of its kind extant 
in any literature. See also the Myvyrian Archaiology. 

ANE.URIN. PAGE 75 

Aneurin was one of the famous warrior bards of ancient 
Wales. His birth is noted as Circa 500 A.D., and in any 
case he flourished during the first half of the 6th century. 
Aneurin like Taliesin, called "the monarch of the bards " 
was a Briton of Manau Gododin, a principality or province 
of Cymric Scotland, now Mid-Lothian and Linlithgowshire. 
Manau Gododin stretched from the Carron of to-day (the 
Carun of Ossian), some miles to the north-west of Falkirk 
to the river Esk, that now divides Mid-Lothian and East 
Lothian. Manau Gododin was then much more Celtic 
(Pictish) than Gododin. " Breatan Cymru " (i.e. the 
country of the Welsh Britons) then comprised the 



NOTES 381 

larger part of southern Scotland that is, from the north 
end of Loch Lomond, and from the upper reaches of 
the Gwruid (the Forth), to the Mull of Galloway on the 
south-west ; eastward to a line drawn from the western 
Lammermuirs, by Melrose, Kelso, and Jedburgh, and so 
down by the Cheviots to Hexham, and thence south- 
westerly by Cumberland. The exception was the Pictish or 
Celtic province of Galloway bounded on the west by 
Carrawg (that part of Ayrshire known as Carrick) ; on the 
north by Coel (Kyle) ; on the east by a line drawn from 
Sanquhar through Nithsdale and by Dumfries to Lochar- 
moss and the Solway ; on the south-west, by Novant 
(Mull of Galloway) ; and on the south by the Solway Firth. 

Aneurin was a contemporary of the princely poet, 
Llywarc'h He"n. He was called Aneurin y Coed Awr ap 
Caw o Gwm Cawlwyd or, again, Aneurin Gwadrydd 
both designations indicative of his greatness. It has been 
maintained that Aneurin is identical with the celebrated 
Gildas, " the author of the Latin epistle which Bede so 
blindly copied," both Aneurin and Gildas having been sons 
of Caw. He is supposed to be alluded to as the seventh 
bard, in a curious fragment preserved in the Myvyrian 
Archaiology (Vol. III.), which I excerpt here. 

"The seven questions put by Catwg the Wise, to the 
Seven Wise Men of the College of Llanvuthan, and the 
answers of these men : 

1. "What is the greatest wisdom of man?" "To be 

able to do evil and not to do it," answered St Tedio. 

2. " What is the highest goodness of man ? " " Justice," 

answered Tahaiarn. 

3. "What is the worst principle of man?" "False- 

hood," answered Taliesin, chief of Bards. 

4. "What is the noblest action of man?" "Correct- 

ness," answered Cynan, son of Clydno Eddin. 

5. " What is the greatest folly of man ? " " To desire a 

common evil, which he cannot do," answered 
Ystyvan, the Bard of Teilo. 

6. " Who is the poorest man?" " He who is not con- 

tented with his own property," answered Arawn, son 
of Cynvarch. 

7. "Who is the richest man?" "He who does not 

covet anything belonging to others," answered 
Gildas of Coed Awr. 



382 LYRA CELTICA 

" The Ode to the Months " is given in the translation of 
William Probert (1820), according to whom the Ode con- 
tains moral maxims and observations which were known 
and repeated long before Aneurin lived, and were put into 
verse by him as an aid to the memory : " valuable, because 
they show the modes of thinking and expression which the 
primitive inhabitants of Britain used nearly 2000 years ago." 

DAFYDD AP GWILYM. PAGE 78 

(Fl. I4th century.) In his love of Nature, and in the 
richness of his poetic imagination (as well, so say those 
who can read Welsh fluently, as in his poetry). Dafydd 
ap Gwilym is the Keats of Wales. The romance of his 
life and wild-wood experiences has yet to be written : and 
we still await an adequate translator though, to judge 
from some recent renderings by Mr Ernest Rhys, in an 
interesting short study of Dafydd, recently published 
in The Chap Book (Stone & Kimball, Chicago) we 
may not have to wait much longer. He was a love- 
child : of noble parentage, though born under a hedge 
at Llandaff. His mother wedded after his birth ; but he 
remained the "wilding" throughout his life. He became 
the favourite of Ivor Hael of Emlyn, with whose daughter 
Morvydd he fell in love. He wooed and won her " under 
the greenwood tree," but only to lose her shortly afterward, 
when she was forcibly married to a man called Bwa Bach. 
Dafydd stole her from her legitimate husband, but was 
captured and imprisoned. His ultimate release was due 
to the payment of the imposed fine, the sum having been 
got together by the men of Glamorgan. His most ardent 
love-poetry is addressed to this fair Morvydd. 

RHYS GOCH OF ERYRI. PAGE 82 

There are two famous poets of the name of Rhys Goch ; 
probably both belong to the 1 4th century (and Wilkins 
certainly disputes the claim of Rhys Goch ap Rhiccart 
to be of the I2th century). This Ode is an illustration of 
the sound answering the sense. Rhys was in love with 
the fair Gwen of Dol, and sent a peacock to her. His 
rival, also a bard, composed a poem to the Fox, beseeching 
it to kill his rival's present, and, singularly enough, the 
bird was destroyed by a fox, and the rival bard was happy. 
Stung by this misadventure, Rhys composed the above, 
which, in the original, so teems with gutturals that Sion 



NOTES 383 

Tudor called it the "Shibboleth of Sobriety, because no 
man, when drunk, could possibly pronounce it." 

RHYS GOCH AP RHICCART. PAGE 83 

See foregoing Note. 

IRISH (MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY) 

A.E. PAGES 87-91 

From Homeward Songs by the Way (Whaley, Dublin). 
This little book, published in paper covers, and apparently 
with every effort to avoid rather than court publicity, almost 
immediately attracted the notice of the few who watch 
contemporary poetry with scrupulously close attention. The 
author, who is well known in Dublin literary society, prefers 
to disguise his identity in public under the initials A.E., 
though it is no longer a secret that Mr G. W. Russell is 
the name of this poet-dreamer, who, like Blake, of whom 
he is a student and interpreter, has also a faculty of pictorial 
expression of a rare and distinctive kind. 

WM. ALLINGHAM. (1824-1889.) PAGES 92-94 

Every lover of Irish poetry is familiar with " The Fairies " 
of the late William Allingham. He is an Irish rather than 
distinctively a Celtic poet in the strict sense of the word ; 
but every now and again he strikes the genuine Celtic note, 
as in his well-known " Fairies," and the little poem called 
the "yEolian Harp," by which he is also represented here. 
Much the best critical summary of his life-work is to be 
found in the brief memoir by Mr W. B. Yeats in Miles' 
Poets and Poetry of the Century ', Vol. V., p. 209. 
Among the innumerable love songs of the Irish peasantry 
there are few more beautiful than Allingham's " Mary 
Donnelly." As Mr Yeats says, he was " the poet of little 
things and little moments, and neither his emotions nor his 
thoughts took any wide sweep over the world of Man and 
Nature." His " Laurence Bloomfield " is already practically 
forgotten ; but many of the lighter and often exquisitely deft 
lyrics of his early life will remain in the memory of the Irish 
people, and one or two at least in English literature. 

THOMAS BOYD. PAGE 95 

So far as I know, Mr Thomas Boyd has not published 

any volume of verse. Some of his poems have appeared in 



384 LYRA CELTICA 

United Ireland, among them the beautiful lines, " To the 
Lianhaun Shee." 

EMILY BRONTE. (1818-1848.) PAGE 97 

It may be as well to explain to those readers who take it 
for granted that Emily Bronte is to be accounted an English 
poet, that she was of Irish nationality and birth. The name 
Bronte, so familiar now through the genius of herself and 
her sister, was originally Prunty. Everything from her pen 
has a note of singular distinction ; but perhaps she could 
hardly be more characteristically represented than by the 
poem called " Remembrance." The, in quantity, meagre 
poetic legacy of the author of Wuthering Heights is com- 
prised (under her pseudonym, Ellis Bell) in the volume 
Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell. 



STOPFORD A. BROOKE. PAG 

"The Earth and Man" and "Song" (from the poem 
called " Six Days") are from Mr Stopford Brooke's volume, 
Poems (Macmillan & Co.). These seem to me fairly repre- 
sentative of the distinctive atmosphere which Mr Brooke 
conveys in all his poetry. See particularly his Riquet of 
The Tuft (1880) and Poems (1888). 

JOHN K. CASEY. PAGE IOI-3 

Most of Mr Casey's poems appeared above the signature 
"Leo." Born in 1846, the son of a peasant, his early 
efforts to make literature his profession were handicapped 
by inevitable disadvantages. In 1876 he was arrested as 
a Fenian conspirator, and imprisoned. This, combined 
with the influence of his unselfish patriotism and the popu- 
larity of many of his lyrics, gave him a recognised place in 
the Irish Brotherhood of Song." 

GEORGE DARLEY. (1795-1846.) PAGE 104 

This remarkable poet, who has so strangely lapsed from 
public remembrance, was in his own day greatly ad- 
mired by his fellow-poets and the most discerning critics 
of the period. Mrs Browning, and Robert Browning still 
more, were deeply impressed by what is now his best known 
production Sylvia: a Lyrical Drama (1836) ; and Alfred 
Tennyson was so struck by the quality of the young 
poet's work that he volunteered to defray the cost of pub- 
lishing his verse. Lord Tennyson frequently, in conversa- 
tion, alluded to George Darley as one of the "hopelessly- 
misapprehended men " ; and we have Robert Browning's 
own authority, says Barley's latest biographer, Mr John 



NOTES 385 

H. Ingram, for stating that Sylvia did much to determine 
the form of his own early dramas. Sylvia, again, charmed 
Coleridge ; and in 1836, Miss Mitford, whom Mr Ingram 
calls a leading spirit among the literati of her day, writes : 
" I have just had a present of a most exquisite poem, which 
old Mr Carey (the translator of Dante and Pindar) thinks 
more highly of than any poem of the present day ' Sylvia, 
or The May Queen,' by George Darley. It is exquisite 
something between the 'Faithful Shepherdess' and the 
'Midsummer Night's Dream.'" 

Darley was the eldest child of Arthur Darley, of the 
Scalp, County Wicklow. The poet, however, was not 
born there, but in Dublin, in the year 1795. While 
he was a child, his parents emigrated to the United 
States ; and the boy spent the first ten years of his life 
at the family home in Wicklow. In due time, and subse- 
quent to the return of his parents from America, he went 
through the usual scholastic routine, though he did not 
graduate at Trinity College, Dublin, till his twenty-fifth 
year a delay in great part due to what, then and later, 
he considered a disastrous impediment of speech. From 
the loss of a scholarship to the social deprivations 
he underwent in London, this infirmity, he declared, 
was his evil fortune. His first book, The Errors of 
Ecstasie, was published (1822) in London, where he had 
settled. Needless to say, as this volume consists mainly 
of a dialogue between a Mystic and the Moon, the 
reading public remained in absolute ignorance of the 
new poet. His second book (1826) consisted of a series 
of prose tales and verses, collectively entitled The 
Labours of Idleness ; or, Seven Nights' Entertainments 
set forth as by "Guy Penseval." Three years later 
appeared his chief work, Sylvia. Notwithstanding its 
divers shortcomings, some of them frankly acknowledged 
by the author himself, Sylvia is a creation of genuine 
imagination, and possesses a haunting and quite distinctive 
charm. Both the merits and demerits of his too often 
uncontrolled style are adequately indicated in the criticism 
of Mr Ingram : " [frequently] his wild Celtic fancy breaks 
its curb and carries him into clouds of metaphor as mar- 
vellous as they are musical, although often the flight ends 
by a hasty and undignified descent to commonplace earth." 
There is no commonplace, however, in his exquisite faery 
verse, which, in the words of the same critic, "is among 

2 B 



386 



LYRA CELTICA 



the loveliest in the language ; at times is even sweeter than 
Drayton's, and is as fantastic as Shakespeare's own." 

For ten years the poet kept silence ; but in 1839 he 
issued his fragmentary and extraordinary Nepenthe a poem 
which, with all its brilliant quality and daring richness of 
imagery, might well be taken as an example of the Celtic 
genius in extremis so unreservedly does he give way to 
an uncontrolled imagination. Perhaps the best thing said 
about Nepenthe is in a letter from the author himself, 
wherein he writes: "Does it not speak a heat of brain 
mentally Bacchic ? " 

Nothing that Darley published afterwards enhanced his 
reputation. Lovers of his best work, however, should 
read the posthumous volume of his "Poems" edited by 
R. and M. J. Livingstone a rare volume, as it was printed 
for private circulation. It contains some of the songs from 
an unpublished lyrical drama called The Sea Bride ; and it 
is from this that the " Dirge," quoted at page 104 in this 
book, comes. In this posthumous collection also is in- 
cluded the following striking and characteristic lyric : 

THE FALLEN STAR. 

A star is gone ! a star is gone ! 

There is a blank in Heaven, 
One of the cherub choir has done 

His airy course this even. 

He sat upon the orb of fire 

That hung for ages there, 
And lent his music to the choir 

That haunts the nightly air. 

But when his thousand years are passed, 

With a cherubic sigh 
He vanished with his car at last, 

For even cherubs die ! 

Hear how his angel brothers mourn 

The minstrels of the spheres 
Each chiming sadly in his turn 

And dropping splendid tears. 

The planetary sisters all 

Jom in the fatal song, 
And weep this hapless brother's fall 

Who sang with them so long. 

But deepest of the choral band 

The Lunar Spirit sings, 
And with a bass-according hand 

Sweeps all her sullen strings. 



NOTES 387 

From the deep chambers of the dome 

Where sleepless Uriel lies, 
His rude harmonic thunders come 

Mingled with mighty sighs. 

The thousand car-borne cherubim, 

The wandering eleven, 
All join to chant the dirge of him 

Who fell just now from Heaven. 

After a life of great intellectual activity, but of singular 
isolation and of misanthropic unhappiness, George Darley 
died in London on the 23rd of November 1846, in his 
fifty-first year. For further information as to the person- 
ality and writings of this strange, undeservedly neglected, 
but unbalanced man of genius, the reader may be referred 
to the delightful edition of Sylvia, with Introduction, by Mr 
John H. Ingram, published by Mr J. M. Dent (1892). 

AUBREY DE VERE. PAGE IO5-6 

Mr Aubrey De Vere is one of the most scholarly poets of 
Ireland. All his work is informed with a high and serious 
spirit ; and though the bulk of it is not distinctively Celtic, 
either in sentiment or utterance, not even distinctively Irish, 
he has written some poems which are as dear to Nationalists 
and Celticists as is almost any other verse by contemporary 
poets. Mr Aubrey De Vere is the younger brother of Sir 
Stephen De Vere, Bart, (the translator of Horace, and him- 
self a poet of distinction), and son of Aubrey De Vere, the 
poet friend of Wordsworth. He was born in 1814, and has 
lived most of his life, with long intervals in London and in 
several parts of Europe, at his birthplace, Curragh Chase, 
Adare, Co. Limerick. Among his most noteworthy 
writings are: The Waldensees (1842); The Search after 
Proserpine (&$$); Poems ( 1 853); The Sisters (1861) ; The 
Infant Bridal: and other Poems (1864) ; Irish Odes (1869) ; 
The Legends of St Patrick (1872) ; Alexander the Great, a 
poetical drama (1874); and another drama, St Thomas of 
Canterbury (1876); Antar and Zara: and other Poems 
(1877); Legends of the Saxon Saints (1879); and The 
Foray of Queen Meave, based upon an ancient Irish epic 
(1882). Since then Mr Aubrey De Vere has published a 
Selection of his poems and one or two books of a religious 
nature. His best prose work is to be found in his Essays 
chiefly on Poetry (1887), and Essays chiefly Literary and 
Ethical (1889). 



388 



LYRA CELTICA 



FRANCIS FAHY. PAGE IO7 

Author of Irish Songs and Poems, published under the 
pseudonym " Dreolin." Mr Fahy is a member of the group 
of notable lyrists whose captain is Sir Samuel Ferguson. 

SIR SAMUEL FERGUSON. (l8lO-l886.) PAGE IOO, 

This celebrated poet and archaeologist was born in Belfast. 
He has aptly been called a man of encyclopaedic learning ; 
but this learning did not prevent his becoming perhaps the 
foremost Irish poet of the Middle Victorian period. His 
most ambitious poetic work is Congal ' : an Epic Poem 
(1872) a work full of lofty imagination and epical music, 
but unfortunate in its metrical setting. His short poem, 
" The Forging of the Anchor," is one of the most cele- 
brated and popular poems of our era. Even yet, the 
influence of his Lays of the Western Gael ( 1 865) is consider- 
able, and for good. " Cean Dubh Deelish " (darling dark 
head), of which several able, and one or two good transla- 
tions have been made, finds its happiest interpreter in 
Ferguson. How many poets and lovers have repeated 
these lines 

" Then put your head, darling, darling, darling, 

Your darling black head my heart above ; 
Oh, mouth of honey, with thyme for fragrance, 
Who, with heart in breast, could deny you love? " 

PAGE HO 

" Molly Asthore" is also a paraphrase. The original is 
ascribed to a celebrated Irish Gaelic bard, Cormac O'Con. 

PAGE 112 

" The Fair Hills of Holy Ireland," is familiar to Irish 
men and women in every part of the world. 

ALFRED PERCIVAL GRAVES. PAGE 113 

One of the best known names of Ireland of to-day. Mr 
Graves, born in Dublin in 1846, is thoroughly national, and 
his delightful work is perhaps as adequately typical of the 
Irish spirit as that of any one man could be. His lyric 
faculty or at any rate his movement, his verve is unsur- 
passed by any living Irishman. These few examples of his 
poetical writings should win him many more readers. His 
first book, Songs of Killarney, was published over twenty 
years ago. Since then he has issued Irish Songs and 
Ballads, Songs of Old Ireland, and (1880) his best known 



NOTES 389 

collection, Father O'F/ynn : and other Irish Lyrics. Irisk 
Songs and Airs is the title of his promised contribution 
to Sir Gavan Duffy's Irish Library. 

GERALD GRIFFIN. (1803-1840.) I'AGE 121 

The author of the lovely song, " Eileen Aroon " (Nellie, 
my Darling), was born in Limerick. His chief work is his 
novel, The Collegians, which has been pronounced to be 
"the most perfect Irish novel published." I have heard that 
Tennyson once " went mooning about for days," repeating 
with endless gusto, and with frequent expressions of a wish 
that he was the author of, the closing lines : 

Youth must with time decay, 

Eileen Aroon ! 
Beauty must fade away, 

Eileen Aroon ! 
Castles are sacked in war, 
Chieftains are scattered far, 
Truth is a fixfed star, 

Eileen Aroon ! 

NORA HOPPER. PAGE 123 ETC - 

This young Irish poet made an immediate impression by 
her Ballads in Prose (John Lane). Both in prose and 
verse she displays the true Celtic note, and often the 
unmistakable Celtic intensity. The lovely lyrics "April in 
Ireland," and "The Wind among the Reeds," are from 
Ballads in Prose. "The Dark Man" has not hitherto 
appeared in print, and I am indebted to Miss Hopper for 
her permission to quote it here. It is, I understand, to 
be included in her shortly forthcoming volume, to be 
published by Mr John Lane. 

DOUGLAS HYDE, LL.D. PAGE 126 

Dr Hyde, one of the foremost living expositors of Gaelic 
folklore in Ireland, was born about thirty-five years ago in the 
Co. Roscommon, where he has since resided. He graduated 
at Trinity College, Dublin, after an exceptionally brilliant 
University career. He is now President of the Gaelic League, 
and one of the acknowledged leaders of the Gaelic wing of 
the Celtic Renascence; but from the first he was in the front 
rank of those who are working for the preservation of the 
ancient Irish language and the rescue of its beautiful fugitive 
literature. Although best known by his Irish Tales, taken 
down at first hand from the peasantry, and other Folk- 



390 LYRA CELTICA 

collections, and his invaluable and unique The Love Songs 
of Connacht (Connaught), he is himself a poet of mark. 
(See, also, Note XL, supra.} Those who are in a position 
to judge declare his Gaelic poetry, which appears in the 
Irish Press above the signature "An Chraoibhin Aoibhinn," 
to be of altogether exceptional excellence. The work Dr 
Douglas Hyde does deserves the most cordial recognition. 
No man has worked more whole-heartedly, more enthusias- 
tically, and with more far-reaching success for the cause of 
the Irish-Gaelic language, folk-lore, and literature, and, it 
may be added, the best interests of the Irish of the soil. 

The songs by which he is represented in this volume are 
from the Love Songs of Connacht (Fisher Unwin, 1893), a 
book which is not only indispensable to the Celtic scholar, 
but should be in the hands of every lover of Celtic literature, 
old-time or new. All are translations, though perhaps 
paraphrastic rather than metaphrastic. Both in their music 
and in their intensity in, also, their peculiar lyric lilt 
they are distinctively West Irish. The collection from 
which these poems are drawn was issued as The Fourth 
Chapter of the Songs of Connacht. The preceding three 
appeared in the now defunct Nation. They were all origin- 
ally written in Irish ; but very wisely, or at any rate for 
us very fortunately, Dr Hyde interpolated translations. In 
these he has endeavoured to reproduce the vowel-rhymes 
as well as the exact metres of the original poems. We 
must hope to see the reprint, in like fashion, of the pre- 
decessors of this volume. 

LIONEL JOHNSON. PAGE 133 

Though come of a Dublin family, and otherwise Irish by 
descent, Mr Johnson was born at Broadstairs in Kent 
(1867). He first became known to the reading public, as 
a poet, by his contributions to The Book of the Rhymers* 
Club, notable for their distinction of touch. Since then 
Mr Johnson has published much in prose and verse, though 
in book form he has not, I think, produced any other 
prose work than his admirable study of Thomas Hardy, 
or any other volume of poetry than his Poems. His work 
is not characterised by distinctively Celtic quality, though 
occasionally, as in "The Red Wind" and "To Morfydd," 
the Celtic note makes itself audible. No doubt to judge 
from internal evidence in his later writings Mr Johnson's 
poetic work, at least, will develop more and more along 
the line of his racial bent. 



NOTES 391 

DENIS FLORENCE MACCARTHY. (1817-1882.) PAGE 13$ 

Mr Maccarthy, who was a barrister in Dublin, and one 
of the main supports of the Nation, is best known by his 
fine translations of Calderon's Dramas. The "Lament," 
by which he is here represented, has always seemed to me 
his most haunting lyrical achievement. It is necessary to 
add, however, that this poem is somewhat condensed from 
the original which is weakened by diffuseness. The score 
or so of lines beginning " As fire-flies fade," have been 
favourites with many poets of Maccarthy's own time and 
later. 

JAMES CLARENCE MANGAN. (1803-1849.) PAGE 137 

While it is not the case, as sometimes averred, that 
Mangan was, or is, to Ireland what Burns is to Scotland, 
it is indisputable that the claim may be made for him 
rather than for any other Irish poet of the Early Vic- 
torian period. In fire and energy his faculty is unsur- 
passed by any of his poetic countrymen, though we may 
dispute Sir Charles Gavan Duffy's assertion that Mangan 
"has not, and perhaps never had, any rival in mastery 
of the metrical and rhythmical resources of the English 
tongue." Mangan was the child of a small tradesman of 
Dublin, where, in 1803, he was born. From childhood, 
fate dealt hardly with him. Abandoned in his early boy- 
hood, he was indebted to a relative for his education ; but 
when, in his fifteenth year, he became a copyist in a lawyer's 
office, at a small pittance, his kindred discovered him and 
compelled him to share his meagre gains with them. For 
ten years thereafter he toiled in this bitter bondage. In his 
own words: "I was obliged to work seven years of the 
ten from five in the morning, winter and summer, to eleven 
at night ; and during the three remaining years, nothing 
but a special Providence could have saved me from suicide." 
No wonder that, from an early period in his life, he found 
relief from his misery in drink ; but it was misery and 
unbroken ill -fortune and adversity, much more than the 
curse of his fatal habit, that really killed him. There is a 

Eeriod in his life which is a blank, "a blank into which 
e entered a bright-haired youth and emerged a withered 
and stricken man." His first chance for a happier life came 
with his appointment to a minor post in the University 
Library of Dublin, and it was during this time that most 
of his best work was done. His highest level is reached 



392 LYRA CELTICA 

in his brilliant free paraphrases of German originals: 
Anthologia Germania (1845). His later years were 
darkened by the worst phases of his malady, and he died 
(as in most part he had lived, in misery and poverty) in 
Meath Hospital, in his forty-seventh year. He has written 
one lyric that Irishmen will always account immortal : 
"Dark Rosaleen" a wild and passionate rhapsody on 
Ireland herself. " Dark Rosaleen," " Silk of the Kine," 
"The Little Black Rose," "Kathleen Ny Houlahan"- 
these were at one time the familiar analogues of Ireland. 
Of his Oriental paraphrases the most stirring is " The 
Karamanian Exile." Strangely enough, Mangan's Irish 
renderings are less happy than those poems which he based 
upon German and Oriental originals ; but sometimes, as in 
the beautiful "Fair Hills of Eire, O !" after the Irish of 
Donough mac Con- Mara, he has bequeathed a memorable 
lyric. Of poems that are strictly original, nothing seems 
to me more characteristic of Mangan than "The One 
Mystery " (see p. 142). 

ROSA MULHOLLAND. PAGE 144 

This accomplished prose -writer and poet was born 
in Belfast. Since her Vagrant Verses (1886) she has 
published many stories and poems, and is a regular contribu- 
tor to the leading Irish periodicals. Her "Fionnula" is 
one of the happiest renderings of the legend of the Swan 
Daughters of Lir ; but is too long for quotation in the text. 
"The Wild Geese," by which she is represented here, is 
eminently characteristic. Her latest poem, and one of her 
best, appears under the title "Under a Purple Cloud" 
in the autumn number of The Evergreen. It is a vision of 
Earth personified, and opens thus : 

Under a purple cloud along the west 
The great brown mother lies and takes her rest, 
A dark cheek on her hand, and in her eyes 
The shadow of primeval mysteries. 

Her tawny velvets swathe her, manifold, 
Her mighty head is coifed in filmy gold, 
Her youngest babe, the newly-blossomed rose 
Upon her swarthy bosom feeds and grows. 

With her wide darkling gaze the mother sees 
Her children in their homes, the reddening trees, 
Roofing wet lawns, fruit -laden lattices, 
Blue mountain domes, and the grey river-seas. 



NOTES 393 

THE HON. RODEN NOEL. (1834-1894.) PAGE 146 

Mr Roden Noel was son of the first Earl of Gainsborough, 
grandson of Lord Roden of Tullymore in Ireland, and 
nephew to the present Marquis of Londonderry. By birth, 
descent, training, and sympathy, he considered himself an 
Irishman : though he was half English by blood, and lived 
the greater part of his life in England, while his intellectual 
homage was largely evoked by Hellenic mythology and lore, 
and by Teutonic mysticism and speculation. It was this 
confused blending of influences which, perhaps, militated 
so strongly against the concentration of his brilliant abili- 
ties into long-sustained and organic creative effort. With 
all his shortcomings, he still remains a poet of genuine 
impulse and occasionally of high distinction ; and some of 
his lyrics and ballads, of a more essentially human interest 
than his more ambitious work, are likely to be held in 
honourable remembrance. The " Lament for a Little 
Child " (see p. 146) has passed into literature ; as, indeed, 
may perhaps be said of the book whence it comes : A 
Little Child's Monument (1881). In one of his Cornish 
poems he begins thus : 

" For me, true son of Erin, thou art rife, 
Grand coast of Cornwall, cliff, and cave, and surge, 
With glamour of the Kelt." 

I do not think there is much " glamour of the Kelt" in 
Roden Noel's work, but it may be discerned in one or two 
poems in each of bis volumes, and in many of his lyrics and 
irregular lyrical compositions there is much of Celtic intensity 
and dream. Few poets have written of the sea with more 
loving knowledge and profound sympathy ; hence it is that 
he is represented here by one characteristic sea-poem, 
called " The Swimmer" as autobiographical as anything 
of the kind can be. The swimmer's joy was Roden Noel's 
chief physical delight All who knew the man himself 
remember him as one of the personalities of bis time, and 
as a man of individual distinction and charm. Besides 
the book already mentioned, his chief poetic volumes 
are Beatrice and Other Poems (1868) ; Songs of the 
Heights and Deeps (1885); and A Modern Fattst (1888). 
See also the Selection from his poems published in the 
Canterbury Poets Series (edited, with a Critical Introduction, 
by Mr Robert Buchanan), and the posthumous volumes 
My Sea and Selected Lyrics (Elkin Mathews). 



394 LYRA CELTICA 

CHARLES P. O'CONOR. PAGE 158 

Besides this typical Irish song, Mr O'Conor has written 
other winsome lyrics of the same kind. One of the best is 
that called " Erinn " beginning 

" O, a lovely place is Erinn, in the summer of the year, 
Roseen dhu ma Erinn." 

This and " Maura Du of Ballyshannon " are from his 
Songs of a Life (Kentish Mercury Office, 1875). 

JOHN FRANCIS O'DONNELL. PAGE l6o 

This pretty Spinning Song is characteristic of the always 
deft and generally delicate and winsome lyrical writing of 
Mr Francis O'Donnell. 

JOHN BOYLE O'REILLY. PAGE l6l 

This prolific writer, often designated an Irish-American 
poet, through the accident of his enforced exile to, and 
long residence in, the United States, is inadequately repre- 
sented by the brief lyric, " A White Rose " ; but it is 
significant of his best achievement, for he is always at his 
happiest in brief, spontaneous lyrics, often in a Heinesque 
vein. John Boyle O'Reilly was born at Dowth Castle in 
Ireland. In his early manhood he enlisted in a hussar regi- 
ment ; and it was while as a hussar that he was arrested 
on the charge of spreading republican principles in the 
ranks, and was sentenced to be shot. This sentence was 
commuted to twenty years of penal servitude ; when the 
unfortunate man, victim of that disastrous as well as iniquit- 
ous tyranny which has characterised the English official 
attitude towards the Celtic populations, was taken to the 
convict settlements of Western Australia. Thence, in time, 
he escaped, and after hairbreadth escapes reached Phil- 
adelphia. From there he went to Boston, where he settled ; 
and in a few years, by virtue of his remarkable gifts as a 
poet, a prose-writer, and a brilliant journalist, became an 
acknowledged power in trans- Atlantic literature. A novel 
of his, Moondyne, is widely and deservedly celebrated. Of 
his poetical works, the best are Songs of the Southern Seas, 
Songs, Legends, and Ballads, and In Bohemia. 

ARTHUR O'SHAUGHNESSY. (1844-1881.) PAGE 162 

O'Shaughnessy is to be ranked as an English rather than 

as an Irish poet ; for the national sentiment played a minor, 

indeed hardly a perceptible part in his poetic life. The 

Celtic part of him found its best expression in his translations 



NOTES 395 

of the Lays of Marie (particularly the difficult and extra- 
ordinary " Bisclaveret"), powerful paraphrases rather than 
translations. The poem by which he is represented here 
shows the influence of Edgar Allan Poe, but is founded 
upon a Celtic legend. In his early youth he was appointed 
to a subordinate position in the Library of the British 
Museum, and was afterwards promoted to the Natural 
History Department. His first literary success was his 
Epic of Women (1870), a volume of exceptional promise, 
which, however, was never adequately fulfilled. His 
Lays of France (1872) was followed by Music and Moon- 
light (1874) and a posthumous volume, Songs of a 
Worker (1881). Always delicate, his death without any 
previous breakdown surprised none of his friends. I 
recollect that on the Saturday preceding his death, which I 
think was on a Wednesday, he came into the rooms of his 
brother-in-law, and fellow-poet and friend, Philip Bourke 
Marston, and asked me to come to his residence on the 
following Wednesday, to hear him read from the proofs of 
his new book. That evening he went to a theatre, came 
home on the top of an omnibus, caught a chill, and died 
before any of his friends knew that he was seriously indis- 
posed. The best critical and biographical accounts of this 
charming if insubstantial poet, are to be found in Dr 
Garnett's memoir in Miles' Poets and Poetry of the 
Century, Vol. VIII., and in the biographical edition of his 
poems recently put forth by Mrs Louise Chandler Moulton. 
Of the poem here given, Dr Garnett speaks as a " miracle 
of melody," and as one of the pieces in which " the poet's 
inward nature has perhaps most clearly expressed itself." 

FANNY PARNELL. (1855-1883.) PAGE 165 

A remarkable poem by a remarkable woman. Frances 
Isabelle Parnell was the sister of Charles Stewart Parnell, 
and grand-daughter of Charles Stewart (from whom the 
great Irish patriot derived his baptismal names), the historic 
commander of the U.S. Frigate Constitution. Miss 
Parnell's poems, which always appeared above the signature 
of Fanny Parnell, have not yet been published collectively. 
She was secretary of the Ladies' Land League, and was 
as intensely wrought by the fervour of patriotism as was her 
famous brother. 

T. W. ROLLESTON. PAGE l66 

The sometime editor of the Dublin University Review, and 



396 



LYRA CELTICA 



one of the most valued present members of the Irish Literary 
Society, was born at Shinrone, King's County, in 1857. 
Mr Rolleston has had a cosmopolitan training since he left 
Trinity College, and has in particular been influenced by 
his long residence in Germany; but he has remained a 
Celtic poet and ardent Celticist through every intellectual 
development. While resident in Germany and in London, 
he wrote his Life of Lessing and his introductions to 
Epictetus and Plato. He is now responsibly connected 
with the Irish Industries Association, but is more and not 
less engrossed by his Celtic studies. If there were a few 
more poet-scholars who could translate or paraphrase so 
beautifully as Mr Rolleston has paraphrased the Irish of 
Enoch o' Gillan (see p. 166) and other poems, there would 
be a wider public in England for the lovely work of early Irish 
poetry. "The Lament of Queen Maev," given here in the 
Ancient Irish section, is also a translation by Mr Rolleston. 

DORA SIGERSON. PAGE 167 

This young and promising writer comes of poetic stock. 
Her sister Hester is also a writer of verse, and her father, 
Dr Sigerson, is one of the foremost workers in the Gaelic 
Revival. Miss Dora Sigerson's only published book as yet 
bears the modest title Verses. It is, perhaps, more signifi- 
cant in its promise than in its achievement ; and I find 
nothing in it so mature as the poem by which she is 
represented here, taken from a recent issue of the Chap 
Book (Stone & Kimball, Chicago). The following lines, 
from Verses^ may be given as an example of her poetic first- 
fruits : 

IN SOUTHERN SEAS. 
In southern seas we sailed, my love and I, 
In southern seas. 

Death joined no chorus as the waves swept by, 
No storm hid in the breeze. 

Low keeled our boat until her white wings dipped half wet with spray, 
And seeking gulls tossed on the passing wave laughed on our way, 
The rhyme of sound, the harmony of souls of silence too; 
Your silence held my thoughts, my love, as mine of you ; 
The wing&d whispering wind that blew our sails was summer sweet 
I found my long-sought paradise crouched at thy feet. 

In northern seas I weep alone, alone, 

In winter seas. 

Death's hounds are on the waves, with many moans 

Death's voice comes with the breeze, 

My helpless boat, rocked in the wind, obeys no steadfast hand, 

Her swinging helm and ashing sheet have lost my weak command ; 



NOTES 397 

The shrieking sea-birds seek the sheltering shore, 
The writhing waves leap upward, and their hoar 
Strong hands tear at the timbers of my shuddering craft. 
I cry in vain, the Fates have seen and laughed, 
Time and the world have stormed my summer sea 
I ate my fruit, the serpent held the tree. 

DR GEORGE SIGERSON. PAGE 1 68 

The distinguished translator and editor of The Poets and 
Poetry of Munster was born near Strabane, Co. Tyrone, in 
1839. Much of his original work has appeared above his 
Irish pen-name "Erionnach"; and from first to last Dr 
Sigerson's name is indissolubly associated with the wide- 
reaching Celtic Renascence in Ireland. 

DR JOHN TODHUNTER, PAGE 1 70 

One of the foremost contemporary poets of Ireland, was 
born in Dublin in 1839, and, like so many of his literary 
compatriots, was educated at Trinity. He then pursued his 
medical studies in Paris and Vienna ; returned to Dublin and 
practised awhile as a physician ; succeeded Prof. Dowden as 
Professor of English Literature in Alexandria College ; and, 
since 1875, has devoted himself exclusively to literature. 
Some of his lyrical pieces are known to all lovers of poetry 
e.g. "The Banshee"; and for the rest he has won a 
distinctive place for himself by work at once varied in theme 
and beautiful in treatment. Though he has won deserved 
reputation as a playwright for the contemporary stage, as 
well as in the poetic drama, he seems to me to be at his best 
when most Celtic in feeling and expression. He is repre- 
sented here, not by pieces so well known as "The Banshee " 
or any part of The Three Sorrows of Story - Telling, but 
by two typical Irish poems, and one lovely fragment 
(see p. 173) from Forest Stngs. Personally, I consider the 
"Love Song "given at page 170 to be one of the finest 
compositions of its kind in modern Celtic literature. I have 
regretfully refrained from quoting two other poems by Dr 
Todhunter, one familiar to every Irishman, " The Shan Van 
Vocht of '87," beginning- 
There "s a spirit in the air, 

Says the S/ian Van Vocht, 
And her voice is everywhere, 

Says the Shan Van Vocht ; 
Though her eyes be full of care, 
Even as Hope's, born of Despair, 
Her sweet face looks young and fair, 
Says the Shan Van Vocht. 

and the other, which I think the strongest of his short lyrical 



398 LYRA CELTICA 

poems, " Aghadoe " of which I may give the two conclud- 
ing quatrains 

I walked to Mallow town from Aghadoe, Aghadoe ; 

Brought his head from the gaol's gate to Aghadoe, 

Then I covered him with fern, and I piled on him the cairn, 

Like an Irish king he sleeps in Aghadoe. 

Oh ! to creep into that cairn in Aghadoe, Aghadoe ! 

There to rest upon his breast in Aghadoe, 

Sure your dog for you could die with no truer heart than I, 

Your own love, cold on your cairn, in Aghadoe. 
CATHERINE TYNAN. PAGE 174 

The author of Louise de la Valliere (1885), Sham- 
rocks (1887), Ballads and Lyrics (1891), and later volumes 
in prose as well as verse, is one of the best known repre- 
sentatives of the Irish poetic fellowship. Mrs Hinkson 
(though best known by her maiden name) is distinctively 
Irish rather than Celtic, and pre-eminently a Catholicist in 
the spirit of her work. She has a St Francis-like love of 
birds and all defenceless creatures and humble things, and 
has a most happy lyric faculty in dealing with aspects and 
objects which excite her rhythmic emotion. In lyric quality 
and in her all-pervading sense of colour, she is, however, 
characteristically Celtic. Miss Tynan was born in Dublin 
in 1861, but since her marriage a few years ago to Mr 
Hinkson (himself one of the Dublin University Young 
Ireland men) she has resided in or near London. Some of 
her work has a lyric ecstasy, of a kind which distinguishes 
it from the poetry of any other woman-writer of to-day. 

CHARLES WEEKES. PAGE 179 

Mr Weekes is one of the small band of Irish poet- 
dreamers who may be particularly associated with Mr W. 
B. Yeats and Mr G. W. Russell (" A.E. "). His book, 
Reflections and Refractions, contains fine achievement as 
well as noteworthy promise. 

WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS. PAGE l8l 

Born (of an Irish father, and 01 a Cornish mother come 
of a family settled in Ireland) at Sandymount, Dublin, in 
1866 ; but early life chiefly spent in Sligo, and on the 
Connaught seaboard. Of late years, Mr Yeats has passed 
much of his time in London, but is never absent from 
Ireland for any long period 

" for always night and day 

I hear lake-water lapping with low sounds on the shore ; 
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey, 
I hear it in the deep heart's core." 



NOTES 399 

W. B. Yeats is the prince of contemporary Irish poets. 
While no one is more essentially Celtic, and none is 
more distinctively national, his poetry belongs to English 
literature. Mr Yeats himself would be the last man to 
nail his flag to the mast of parochialism in literature. He 
is one of the two or three absolutely poetic personalities 
in literature at the present moment ; and in outlook, and, 
above all, in atmosphere, stands foremost in the younger 
generation. It is noteworthy that the two most convincingly 
poetic of all our younger poets, since the giants who (with 
the exception of George Meredith, A. C. Swinburne, and 
William Morris) have gone from our midst, are predomin- 
antly Celtic ; W. B. Yeats and John Davidson and note- 
worthy, also, that both are too wise, too clear-sighted, too 
poetic, in fact, to aim at being Irish or Scoto-Celtic at the 
expense of being English in the high and best sense of the 
word. This, fortunately, is consistent with being para- 
mountly national in all else. In the world of literature 
there is no geography save that of the mind. 

Mr Yeats' poetic work is best to be read, and perhaps 
best to be enjoyed, in the revised collective edition of his 
poems, in one volume, published recently by Mr Fisher 
Unwin. His first volume of verse, The Wanderings of 
Oisin, was published in 1889. This was followed (in 1892) 
by The Countess Kathleen : and Various Legends and 
Lyrics ; The Land of Heart's Desire, and two short prose 
tales (in the Pseudonym Library), John Sherman and 
Dhoya* Two new books are promised in 1896 (through 
Mr Elkin Mathews), The Shadowy Waters (a poetic 
play), and The Wind Among the Reeds (poems). He 
has also published several volumes of selected Irish tales 
and legendary lore ; edited, in conjunction with Mr E. 
J. Ellis, the Works of William Blake (3 vols., 1893); 
and A Book of Irish Verse (Methuen, 1895), an inter- 
esting rather than an adequately representative anthology 
of nationalistic Irish poetry. All that is most distinctive 
in Mr Yeats' own original work is to be found in his 
Poems (Collective Edition, in I vol., Fisher Unwin, 1895), 
and the prose volume entitled The Celtic Twilight (Lawrence 
& Bullen, 1893), one of the most fascinating prose-books by 
a poet published in our time. 



400 LYRA CELTICA 

LATER SCOTO-CELTIC 

THE PROLOGUE TO GAUL. PAGE 189 

Comes from the Sean Dana-, vide Dr John Smith's 
Collection of Ancient Poems (1780), (vide Note to page 13 
supra, and also Introduction). 

IN HEBRID SEAS. PAGE IQI 

This stirring Hebridean poem is given as from the 
ancient Gaelic. Probably by this is meant merely old 
Gaelic, mediaeval or even later. The translation is by Mr 
Thomas Pattison, and is included in his Gaelic Bards. 
He has the following note upon it: " This effusion, although 
in its original form it is only a kind of wild chant almost 
indeed half prose yet it is the germ of the ballad. It 
occurs in many of the tales contained in that collection, the 
repository of old Gaelic lore, the Popular Tales of the 
West Highlands, sometimes more and sometimes less 
perfect. The original will be found in the second volume of 
the Tales. . . . The vigorous and elastic spirit that per- 
vades these verses must have strung the heart of many a 
hardy mariner who loved to feel the fresh and briny breeze 
drive his snoring birlinn bounding like a living creature over 
the tumbling billows of the inland loch or the huge swell of 
the majestic main." 

LULLABY. PAGE 193 

Supposed to be the composition of the wife of Gregor 

MacGregor after the judicial murder of her husband. 

DROWNED. PAGE 194 

This folk-poem, the antiquity of which may be anywhere 

from a hundred to two hundred years or more, is given in 

the translation of the Rev. Dr Stewart of Nether Lochaber. 

ALEXANDER MACDONALD. PAGE 195 

This celebrated Gaelic poet was born in the first half of 

the 1 7th century. In the Highlands and Western Isles he 

is invariably styled Mac Mhaighstir Alastair i.e. the son 

of Mr Alexander. Alastair the Elder resided at Dalilea in 

Moydart of Argyll, and was both Episcopal clergyman and 

official tacksman. He was a man of immense strength and 

vigour, and his muscular Christianity may be inferred from 

the saying current in Moydart that " his hand was heavier 

on the men of Suainart than on the men of Moydart." 

Alexander Macdonald had a good education for his time 



NOTES 401 

first under his father, and later, for a year or so, at Glasgow 
University. Poverty, however, compelled him to leave 
Glasgow and retire to Ardnamurchan, where, as his bio- 
grapher, Mr Pattison, says, he lived, teaching and farming, 
and composing poetry, until the advent of the year 1745. 
In this momentous year he left not only his farm and his 
teaching, but even his eldership in the Established Church, 
and forsook all to join Prince Charlie, and to take upon 
him the onus of a change to the detested Roman Catholic 
faith. He was a Jacobite of the Jacobites, and his fiery and 
warlike songs were repeated from mouth to mouth through- 
out Celtic Scotland. It is supposed that he had a commis- 
sion in the Highland army of the Prince, though whether 
he served as an officer is uncertain ; at any rate, after the 
battle of Culloden he had to share the privations of his 
leaders, and he lived in hiding in the woods and caves of the 
district of Arisaig. On one occasion, when lurking among 
these caves with his brother Angus, the cold was so intense 
that the side of Macdonald's head which rested on the 
ground became quite grey in a single night. When the 
troubles were over he went to Edinburgh, where he taught 
the children of a staunch Jacobite, but soon returned to his 
beloved West, where he remained till his death. Mac- 
donald's first published book was a Gaelic and English 
Vocabulary (1741), nor was it till ten years later that his 
poems were published in Edinburgh said to be one of the 
earliest volumes of original poems ever published in Gaelic. 
Pattison declares that he is the most warlike, and much the 
fiercest of the Highland poets ; and altogether ranks him as, 
if not the foremost, certainly second only to the famous 
Duncan Ban Maclntyre. His poem called "The Birlinn of 
the Clan- Ranald" is by this critic, and most others, ranked 
as the finest composition in Modern Gaelic ; certainly 
many Highlanders prefer it even to the "Coire Cheathaich, 
or the still more famous "Ben Dorain" of Duncan Ban. 
Assuredly no one could read this poem " Of the hurling of 
the birlinn through the cold glens of the sea, loudly 
snoring," without being stirred by its vigour and power. 
The portion here given is merely a fragment, for the original 
is much too long for quotation indeed, it is said to be the 
longest poem in Gaelic, except such as are Ossianic. For a 
full account of Macdonald and his poems, including the 
translation of the greater part of " The Manning of the 
Birlinn," see Pattison's Gaelic Bards. 
2C 



402 LYRA CELTICA 

ANGUS MACKENZIE. PAGE 2OI 

" The Lament of the Deer " is the work of a favourite 
Highland poet whose name is particularly familiar in the 
Northern Highlands. Angus Mackenzie was head forester 
of Lord Lovat, and most of his poems have the impress of 
his well-loved profession. "The Cumha nam Fiadh" was 
composed during the recovery from a severe illness, when 
the poet's chief regret was his inability to be with Lovat 
and his Frasers at the hunting of the stag. The translation 
here given was made by Charles Edward and John Sobieski 
Stuart, and is to be found in their Lays of the Deer 
Forest (Blackwood, 1848). 

DUNCAN BAN MACINTYRE. PAGE 203 

A name loved throughout the Highlands and Islands. 
Even the most illiterate crofters are familiar with Duncan 
Ban and much of his poetry, and there are few who could 
not repeat at least some lines of " Ben Dorain." The 
Hunter Bard of Glenorchy, as he is often called though 
his best title is the affectionate Gaelic " Duncan of the 
Songs " was born on the 2Oth of March 1724, at Druim- 
liaghart in Glenorchy, Argyll. His first song was composed 
on a sword with which he was armed at the battle of 
Falkirk where he served on the Royalist side as substi- 
tute for a gentleman of the neighbourhood. " This sword," 
says his biographer, Thomas Pattison, " the poet lost or 
threw away in the retreat. On his return home therefore, 
the gentleman to whom it belonged, and whose substitute 
he had been, refused to pay the sum for which he had 
engaged Duncan Ban to serve in his stead. Duncan con- 
sequently composed his song on ' The Battle of the 
Speckled Kirk ' as Falkirk is called in Gaelic in which 
he good-humouredly satirised the gentleman who had sent 
him to the war, and gave a woful description of ' the black 
sword that worked the turmoil,' and whose loss, he says, 
made its owner ' as fierce and furious as a grey brock in his 
den.' The song immediately became popular, and incensed 
his employer so much that he suddenly fell upon the poor 
poet one day with his walking-stick, and, striking him on 
the back, bade him ' go and make a song about that.' He 
was, however, afterward compelled by the Earl of Bread - 
albane to pay the bard the sum of 300 merks Scots (16, 175. 
6d.), which was his legal due." Although in his later years 
he was for a time one of the Duke of Argyll's foresters, 



NOTES 403 

most of his later life was spent in Edinburgh, where he was 
one of the City Guard. In that city he died in 1812, in his 
eighty-ninth year, and lies in Greyfriars Churchyard. In 
all there have been seven editions of his Gaelic Songs. 
" Ben Dorain" has been translated several times, most suc- 
cessfully by Thomas Pattison and the late Professor Blackie. 
The version here given is that of the former ; while the 
following poem ("The Hill Water," page 208) is that of 
Professor Blackie. 

Translations of both "Ben Dorain" (in full) and of 

" Coire Cheathaich " (The Misty Corrie) are included in 

Pattison's Gaelic Bards. Professor Blackie's version of 

" Ben Dorain" is in his well-known book, Altavona. 

MARY MACLEOD. PAGE 2IO 

The most famous of Hebridean poets was born in 
Harris of the Outer Hebrides in 1569. She may be 
regarded either as the last of the poets of the Middle 
Scoto-Celtic period, or, more properly, as the first of the 
moderns. She is generally spoken of in the Western 
Isles as Main nighean Alastair Ruaidh (Mary, daughter 
of Alexander the Red). "Although she could never either 
read or write, her poetry is pure and chaste in its diction, 
melodious, though complicated, in its metre, clear and 
graceful, and frequently pathetic" (Pattison). She died 
at Dun vegan, in the Isle of Skye, in 1674, at the great 
age of 105. For some reason, Mary Macleod was banished 
from Dunvegan by Macleod of Macleod, but his heart was 
melted by the song here given, and the exile was recalled, 
and that, too, with honour, and enabled to live in Macleod's 
country thenceforth in prosperity and happiness. 

MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY SCOTO-CELTIC 

MONALTRI. PAGE 217 

These lines tell their own tale. The translation given 
is that of Thomas Pattison. 

HIGHLAND LULLABY. PAGE 2l8 

This lullaby first appeared in the Duanaire, edited by 
D. C. Macpherson (1864). It is supposed to be sung by a 
disconsolate mother whose babe has been stolen by the fairies. 
In each verse she mentions some impossible task she has 
performed, but still she has not found her baby. Coineachan 
is a term of endearment applied to a child. (Quoted by 
" Fionn" in the Celtic Monthly for September 1893.) 



404 LYRA CELTICA 

BOAT SONG. PAGE 219 

This boat song, so familiar to West Highlanders, is in 
the rendering of Professor Blackie. 

JOHN STUART BLACKIE. (1809-1895.) PAGE 222 

The late Professor Blackie was born in Glasgow and 
brought up for the law. This he forsook for literature, 
and ultimately, in 1852, was appointed to the Greek Chair 
in Edinburgh University. All particulars of the brilliant 
Professor's life and writings will be found in the recently- 
published biography by Miss Anna Stoddart. Professor 
Blackie's name will always be held in affectionate regard 
for his unselfish efforts to preserve and cultivate the Gaelic 
language and literature, and because of his having been 
mainly instrumental in founding the Chair of Celtic Litera- 
ture in the University of Edinburgh. His poetical writings 
are mostly to be found in Lays and Legends of Ancient 
Greece (1857), Lyrical Poems (1860), and Lays of the High- 
lands and Islands (1872). 

ROBERT BUCHANAN, PAGE 224 

The foremost Scoto - Celtic poet of our time, was born 
in Glasgow, 1841. It would be needless to give particulars 
concerning the life and work of so eminent a contemporary. 
Lovers of the Celtic Muse will doubtless be familiar (or 
if not, ought to be) with Mr Buchanan's Book of Orm. 
Much of his early poetry is strongly imbued with the Celtic 
atmosphere. Those who have read his several volumes 
of verse need no further guidance, but readers unacquainted 
with the poetical work of one of the foremost poets of our 
day should obtain the collective edition of his poems 
published by Messrs Chatto & Windus. "The Flower of 
the World " (page 224), ' ' The Dream of the World without 
Death " (pages 228-234) are from The Book of Orm ; 
"The Strange Country" comes from Miscellaneous Poems 
and Ballads (1878-1883). No more memorable poem than 
" The Dream " has been written by an Anglo-Celtic poet. 

LORD BYRON. (1788-1824.) PAGES 238-239 

Byron is represented in Lyra Celtica by virtue of his Celtic 
blood and undoubtedly Celtic nature, rather than because 
there is much trace of Celtic influence in his poetry. The 
two lyrics given here may be taken as fairly representative 
of that part of his poetical work which may with some 
reason be called Celtic, though, of course, there is nothing 



NOTES 405 

in them which radically differentiates them from the lyrics 
of any English poet. More than one eminent critic, foreign 
as well as British, has claimed for Byron that he was the 
representative Celtic voice of the early part of the century ; 
but Byron was really much more the voice of his own day 
and time than anything more restricted. 

CRODH CHAILLEAN. PAGE 240 

This familiar Highland Milking Song is given in the trans- 
lation of Dr Alexander Stewart of Nether Lochaber. 

MACCRIMMON'S LAMENT. PAGE 241. 

Perhaps the most famous pipe-tune in the Highlands 
is the "Cumha mhic Criomein," composed by Donald 
Ban MacCrimmon, on the occasion of the Clan MacLeod, 
headed by their chief, embarking to join the Royalists in 
1746. The Lament is said to have been composed by 
Donald Ban under the influence of a presentiment that he as 
well as many others of the clan would never return ; a pre- 
sentiment fulfilled, for he was killed in a skirmish near 
Moyhall. The tune and the chorus are old, but it is com- 
monly believed the poem was composed by Dr Norman 
Macleod ; at any rate, they first appeared in a Gaelic article 
on the MacCrimmons, which he contributed in 1840 to 
"Cuairtear nan Gleann" ("Fionn," the Celtic Monthly). 
The translation here given is that of Professor Blackie. 

IAN CAMERON (" IAN MOR "). PAGE 242 

Translated from the Gaelic by Miss Fiona Macleod. 

JOHN DAVIDSON. PAGE 243 

Mr Davidson was born at Barrhead, near Paisley, on 
April nth, 1857. After his preliminary education at the 
Highlanders' Academy, Greenock, he went to Edinburgh 
University. For a time he taught in Greenock, and also 
gained a certain amount of literary experience in occasional 
contributions to the Glasgow Herald and other papers. In 
1886 he published Bruce: a Drama, followed by Smith: 
a Tragedy (1888), Scaramouch in Naxos : and other 
Places (1889), In a Music Hall, and other Poems (1891), 
Fleet Street Eclogues (1893), Ballads ami Songs (1894), 
Second Series of Fleet Street Eclogues (1895), besides several 
volumes of prose papers and fiction. Although Bruce 
was Mr Davidson's first published work, he had begun 
to write at a much earlier period : his An Historical 
Pastoral was composed in 1877 ; A Romantic Farce in 1878 ; 



406 LYRA CELTICA 

while Bruce was written four years before its publication. 
Mr Davidson's later poetical writings have been mainly in 
the form of songs and lyrical ballads, and these have placed 
him in the foremost rank of the younger poets of to-day. 
He has the widest range, the largest manner, and the 
intensest note of any of the later Victorians. The two 
poems by which he is represented here are eminently char- 
acteristic, and none the less Celtic in their essential quality 
from the fact that the one deals with a loafer of the London 
streets and the other with a scenic rendering of an impression 
gained in Romney Marsh. Mr Davidson's latest writings 
are " The Ballad of an Artist's Wife," not as yet issued 
in book form, and the just published second series of the 
Fleet Street Eclogues (John Lane). Both " A Loafer" and 
" In Romney Marsh" are from Ballads and Songs. 

JEAN GLOVER. (1758-1800.) PAGE 246 

The author of " O'er the Muir amang the Heather" was 
the daughter of a Highland weaver settled in Kilmarnock. 
She married a strolling actor, and her fugitive songs became 
familiar throughout the West of Scotland. " O'er the Muir 
amang the Heather " has become a classic. 

GEORGE MACDONALD. PAGE 247 

This popular Scottish novelist and poet was born at 
Huntly, in Aberdeenshire, December 10, 1824. As a 
novelist he has almost as large an audience as have any 
of his contemporary romancists. His poems are less widely 
known, though in them he has expressed himself with great 
variety and subtlety. The Celtic element is not conspicuous 
in Dr Macdonald's work either in prose or verse ; but some- 
times, as in the little song " Oime," quoted here, it finds 
adequate expression. This song is from his early volume 
Within and Without. 
RONALD CAMPBELL MACKIE. PAGE 249 

The author of Granite Dust (Kegan Paul) is one of the 
most promising of the younger Celtic Scots. 
WILLIAM MACDONALD. PAGE 250 

One of the band of young writers associated with 7 he 
Evergreen (Patrick Geddes and Colleagues, Edinburgh). 
Mr Macdonald has not yet issued his poems in book form. 

AMICE MACDONELL. PAGE 25 1 

Miss Macdonell has not, so far as I know, published 
a volume. ' ' Culloden Moor" appeared in the Celtic Monthly 
in June 1893. 



NOTES 407 

ALICE C. MACDONELL. PAGE 252 

Miss Alice Macdonell of Keppoch has contributed many 
poems to Scottish and other periodicals. " The Weaving of 
the Tartan " appeared in the Celtic Monthly for December 
1894. 

WILLIAM MACGILLIVRAY. (1796-1852.) PAGE 254 

The author of "The Thrush's Song" was not a poet, 
but occasionally indulged in the pleasure of verse-making. 
He was a well-known Highland ornithologist, and it may 
be added that his attempt at an onomatopoeic rendering of 
the song of the thrush has been pronounced by Buckland 
and other ornithologists to be remarkably close. 

FIONA MACLEOD. PAGE 255 

Miss Macleod is one of the younger writers most inti- 
mately associated with the Celtic Renascence in Scotland. 
"The Prayer of Women" (see page 255) is from Pharais : 
a Romance of the Isles (Frank Murray, Derby, 1894) ; " The 
Rune of Age " and " A Gaelic Milking Song " are from The 
Mountain Lovers (John Lane) ; the " Lullaby " and the two 
songs of Ethlenn Stuart are from her last volume, The Sin- 
Eater : and other Tales (Patrick Geddes and Colleagues, 
Edinburgh). "The Closing Doors" has not been pub- 
lished hitherto. The brief lyric, " The Sorrow of Delight," 
was contributed to an as yet unpublished fantastic sketch, 
The Merchant of Dreams, written in collaboration with 
a friend. Such of the poems scattered through her several 
volumes, and others, as she wishes to preserve in connected 
form, will be published by Miss Macleod early in 1896 
(Patrick Geddes and Colleagues), under the title of Lyric 
Runes and Fonnsheen. 

NORMAN MACLEOD. PAGE 266 

There is no Highlander held in more affectionate remem- 
brance and admiration than the late Dr Norman Macleod : 
and with justice; for no one worked more arduously, under- 
standingly, and sympathetically for the cause of the Gaelic 
language, Gaelic literature, and the Gaelic people than the 
famous poet-minister, who, to this day, is commonly spoken 
of as " The Great Norman." It was, however, Dr Norman 
the elder who wrote " Fiunary," and not, as commonly 
stated, the late Dr Norman. His " Farewell to Fiunary " 
is probably the most universally-known modern poem in 



408 LYRA CELTICA 

the West Highlands. (For critical remarks as to the 
authenticity of this poem, see Dr Nigel M 'Neil's Litera- 
ture of the Highlanders, pp. 283-286.) 

SARAH ROBERTSON MATHESON. PAGE 267 

Mrs Robertson Matheson, some of whose poems in perio- 
dicals have attracted the attention of lovers of poetry, is 
chief secretary and treasurer of the Clan Donnachaidh 
Society. The fine lyric, ' ' A Kiss of the King's Hand," 
appeared in the Celtic Monthly for May 1894 ; but I regret 
that version has inadvertently been followed, for it twice 
misspells toe for " to," and in the third line of the third 
quatrain has a misreading ("jewels" instead of "ruffles"). 

It may interest many readers to know that " A Kiss of 
the King's Hand " decided the descendant of Flora Mac- 
donald to leave Mrs Robertson Matheson the last heirloom 
of Scottish romance, the "ring of French gold" given by 
Prince Charlie to Flora, and holding the lock of hair cut 
from " the king's head " by her and her mother. 

DUGALD MOORE. PAGE 268 

"The First Ship" is so remarkable a poem that it is difficult 
to understand how it has met with so little recognition, 
and escaped most, if not all, of the Scottish and British 
anthologists. Dugald Moore was the ' son of Highland 
parents, and was born in Glasgow in 1805. His first book 
was entitled The Bard of the North, and consisted of 
a series of poetical tales illustrative of Highland scenery and 
character (1833). The Hour of Retribution and The 
Devoted One appeared respectively in 1835 and 1839. 
Moore died unmarried in the 36th year of his age (Jan. 2, 
1841), and was buried in the Necropolis of Glasgow. It 
is a pity that the poem could not have appeared without 
its fourth stanza, which is inferior to the others. 

LADY CAROLINE NAIRNE. (1766-1845.) PAGE 269 

Needless to say anything here concerning the " Flower of 
Strathearn." Baroness Nairne was mainly Celtic in blood 
and wholly Celtic in genius. " The Land o' the Leal " is now 
one of the most famous and most loved lyrics in the English 
language. (Readers may be referred to Life and Songs of 
Baroness Nairne, 1 868.) 

ALEXANDER NICOLSON. PAGE 270 

Besides this fine poem, "On Skye," Sheriff Nicolson has 

translated the " Birlinn " of Alexander Macdonald, and has 



NOTES 409 

written many moving verses full of Gaelic sentiment of a 
robust kind. 

SIR NOEL PATON. PAGE 272 

Joseph Noel Paton was born at Dunfermline on the 
1 3th of December 1821 ; and while his father was also of 
partial Celtic origin, Sir Noel is, through his mother, the 
descendant of the last of the Scoto-Celtic kings. Of his 
career as a painter it is not necessary to speak here. His 
two volumes of poetry are Poems by a Painter (1861) 
and Spindrift (1867). The best account of the life 
and work of this distinguished Scot is the monograph 
recently published by Mr David Croal Thomson, as the 
"Art-Annual" of The Art Journal. The two poems by 
which Sir Noel is represented in this book are not to be 
found in either of his volumes, and their appearance here is 
due to the courtesy of the author. 

WILLIAM RENTON. PAGE 274 

Mr Renton was born in Perthshire, of Scoto-Celtic 
parents. "Mountain Twilight" is taken from his first 
volume of poems called Oils and Water Colours (Hamilton, 
Edinburgh, 1876). Mr Renton's only other volume of 
verse is his Songs (Fisher Unwin, 1893). 

LADY JOHN SCOTT. PAGE 275 

The author of " Durisdeer " was of mixed Highland and 
Lowland descent. Her poem has a permanent place in our 
literature because of its haunting passion and pain. 

EARL OF SOUTHESK. PAGE 276 

Lord Southesk (James Carnegie) was born in 1827. He 
first made his name in literature by his strange and vigorous 
Jonas Fisher (1875). This was followed by Greenwood's 
Farewell (1876), and The Meda Maiden (1877); though 
most of the poems contained in these two volumes, with 
several others, are comprised in The Burial of his (1884). 

JOHN CAMPBELL SHAIRP. PAGE 277 

This able Scottish writer was of Celtic origin through his 
mother. Readers unacquainted with the poems of the late 
Principal Shairp, and ex- Professor of Poetry at Oxford, will 
do best to turn to the posthumous volume, edited, with a 
memoir, by Francis Turner Palgrave, entitled Glen Dessary 
(Macmillan, 1888). 



410 LYRA CELTICA 

UNA URQUHART. PAGE 279 

I know nothing else of Gaelic or English verse by this 
young writer. "An Old Tale of Three," as it appears here, 
is a rendering of the original by Miss Fiona Macleod. 

LOST LOVE. PAGE 280 

The author of this poem is unknown. The original is in 
the Gaelic of the Western Isles, and is one of the several 
fugitive songs rescued by Thomas Pattison. The version 
given here, however, is not identical with his, the first and 
last quatrains having been added by another hand. 

CONTEMPORARY ANGLO-CELTIC POETS (WALES) 

GEORGE MEREDITH. PAGE 283 

Mr George Meredith, who recently has been addressed 
in a dedication as "The Prince of Celtdom," is rather 
the sovereign of contemporary English literature. Al- 
though of Welsh descent and sympathies, and with a 
nature pre-eminently Celtic in its distinguishing charac- 
teristics, Mr Meredith was born in Hampshire on Febru- 
ary 1 2th, 1828. Part of his early education was received 
in Germany, and after his return to England it was 
intended that he should pursue the legal profession : an 
intention set aside on account of an irresistible bias toward 
literature. His first published writings were in verse : and 
now this early little book, Poems, published in his twenty- 
third year (1851) is one of the rarest treasures for the biblio- 
phile. It is dedicated to Thomas Love Peacock, whose 
intellectual influence upon the young writer is obvious. 
In 1850 the poet married the daughter of Peacock, but 
it was not till a year or two later that he definitely set 
himself to the profession of literature as also a means of 
livelihood. It is characteristic of him that his first prose 
book should be one of his most individual writings ; for 
The Shaving of Shagpat might have been written at 
almost any period of its author's career. A fascinating and 
perplexing production it must indeed have seemed at that 
time, published as it was in a year which, with the exception 
of two radically distinct American works of pre-eminent 
note, Longfellow's Hiawatha and Walt Whitman's 
Leaves of Grass, was a singularly barren one. The fantasy 
has always remained a favourite with staunch Meredithians. 
It was followed two years later by the somewhat akin Farina; 



NOTES 4" 

and two years passed again before that first important work 
appeared which so profoundly affected the minds and 
imagination of Mr Meredith's contemporaries the now 
famous Ordeal of Richard Feverel, (1859). Since that 
date Mr Meredith has given us what many consider the 
greatest literary legacy of our time ; and unquestionably he 
has had no compeer in brilliant delineation of life at white 
heat. It is unnecessary to specify the works of an author 
with which all lovers of literature must be familiar ; but a 
word must be added as to the delight which the reading 
world has known this year in the publication of The 
Amazing Marriage, one of the most brilliant and vivid of 
all Mr Meredith's romances, and, in its display of his 
characteristic quality at his best, ranking with Harry 
Richmond, The Egoist, and Diana of the Crossways. 
As a poet George Meredith is less widely known, 
or, rather, is less widely accepted. There are, neverthe- 
less, many who regard his poetic achievement as perhaps the 
most essential part of what he has given us. In depth of 
thought, in clarity of vision, and in remarkable expression^! 
subtlety, often, if not invariably, set forth in a lyric 
utterance whose only fault is that of an occasional apparent 
incoherence due to rapidity of thought and eagerness of 
rhythmic emotion he stands here, as in all else, alone. 
From that extraordinarily powerful study of contemporary 
life, expressed emotionally and rhythmically in singularly 
convincing verse, Modern Love, to his latest volume, The 
Empty Purse, there is a range of rhythmic and lyric beauty 
which may well be a challenge to posterity to redeem the 
relative neglect of the mass of Mr Meredith's contemporaries. 
I am not of those who consider Mr Meredith's least popular 
poems as mere cryptic utterances in verse ; for everywhere 
I find the lyric spirit, hampered, at times, it is true, by 
a wind-rush of images, and by a sudden drove of unshep- 
herded words. But who could read " Love in the Valley," 
"The Lark Ascending," "The Woods of Westermain," 
" The South- Wester," "The Hymn to Colour," to mention 
five only, without recognising that here indeed we have one 
of the great poets of our time. The poems by which, owing 
to the gracious courtesy of Mr Meredith who has consented 
to forego for once his great objection to the appearance of any 
of his poems in miscellaneous collections he is here repre- 
sented, are from his later volumes. The "Dirge in Woods," 
" Outer and Inner," and the superb " Hymn to Colour," are 



412 LYRA CELTICA 

from A Reading of Earth (1888), the volume which contains 
" Hard Weather," " The South- Wester," " The Thrush in 
February," " The Appeasement of Demeter," "Woodland 
Peace," the noble ode " Meditation under Stars," and that 
flawless and memorable sonnet, " Winter Heavens." The 
" Night of Frost in May" is from the volume entitled The 
Empty Purse (1892). Mr Meredith's other volume of poetry, 
the favourite with most of his readers, is Poems and Lyrics of 
the Joy of Earth (1883). This book includes "The Woods 
of Westermain," "The Day of the Daughter of Hades," 
" The Lark Ascending," " Phcebus with Admetus," " Mel- 
ampus," " Love in a Valley," and the group of sonnets 
beginning with "Lucifer in Starlight," and ending with 
"Time and Sentiment." All Mr Meredith's poetical 
writings are now published by Messrs Macmillan. 
SEBASTIAN EVANS, PAGE 292 

Born in 1830, the grandson of the Rev. Lewis Evans, 
a well-known Welsh astronomer, and the son of the Rev. 
Arthur Benoni Evans, a linguist, scholar, and author. He 
was not the only one of this parentage who came to some 
distinction, for his brother, John Evans, F.R.S., became 
President of the Society of Antiquaries, and his sister, Anne, 
had some repute as a poetess and musician. Sebastian 
Evans won a fair measure of fugitive fame by his Brother 
Fabian's Manuscript and Other Poems (Macmillan, 1865). 
In the early '7o's Dr Evans published his second volume, 
In the Studio: a Decade of Poems (Macmillan). The 
true note of his strangely subtle and illusive muse is not that 
of either irony or audacity as commonly supposed, but rather 
a living belief in the passage of the contemporary mind and 
aspiration from the sureties of the ancient faith to the 
assurance of a still finer faith to come. Among his short 
poems perhaps the most indicative is that entitled ' ' The 
Banners " 

Lordly banners, waving to the stars, 
Flap upon the night-wind, heavy with the dew, 

Trustful youth is wending to the wars, 
Strong in ancient faith to battle with the new. 

Lordly banners, trodden in the clay, 
Lie upon the mountain dank with other dew, 

Haple_ss Youth hath lost the bloody day, 
Ancient faith is feeble, stronger is the new. 

Lordly banners, other than of yore, 

Flap upon the night-wind, heavy with the dew : 

Youth to battle girdeth him once more, 
New and Old are feeble, mighty is the True ! 



NOTES 413 

EBENEZER JONES. (l82O-l86o.) PAGE 293 

Of Welsh parentage and descent, Ebenezer Jones was 
born in Islington, London. Much has been written upon 
the famous Chartist poet, both in his relation to the social- 
istic movements in which he participated, and in literary 
criticism of his two at one time much discussed volumes, 
Studies of Sensation and Event (1843), an ^ Studies of 
Resemblance and Consent (1849); but perhaps the best 
critical summary of his life-work is that of Mr Wm. J. Linton 
in Miles' Poets and Poetry of the Century, Vol. V. The 
two poems by which Ebenezer Jones is represented here are 
respectively from his second and first volumes. 

EMILY DAVIS (MRS PFEIFFER). (1841-1890.) PAGE 296 

Mrs Pfeiffer, many of whose poems achieved a wide 
popularity, was the daughter of a Welsh gentleman settled 
in Oxfordshire, and an officer in the army. She was born 
in Wales. Of her several volumes of verse, the first was 
Gerard's Monument, etc. (1873), an ^ tne best are Sonnets 
and Other Songs, Under the Aspens (1884), and Sonnets 
(1887). 

ERNEST RHYS. PAGE 297 

"The House of Hendra" is not given here intact: for 
the whole poem, see A London Rose, etc. (Elkin Mathews). 
Mr Rhys is the most noteworthy of the younger generation of 
Welsh poets and romancists, and may well be accepted as the 
leader of the Neo-Celtic movement in Wales. He has in a 
more marked degree than almost any of his compatriots of 
his own period the gift of style ; and already his enthusi- 
asm, knowledge, and fine and notable work in prose and 
verse have brought him to the front as the recognised 
representative of young Wales. Of Welsh parentage, Mr 
Rhys was born in London in 1860, spent much of his boy- 
hood in South Wales, and his youth and early manhood in 
the north-country, where he intended to follow the profes- 
sion of a mining engineer. However, he came to London 
in the early 'eighties and settled down to literary work. His 
first publication in book form was The Great Cockney 
Tragedy (1891). His poems first became known to the 
outside reading world through his contributions to The 
Book of the Rhymers' Club (1893). In the following year 
he published his first and as yet sole volume of verse : A 
London Rose : and Other Rhymes, whence comes the fine 



414 LYRA CELTICA 

' ' House of Hendra" by which he is represented here. Besides 
other writings, in prose, Mr Ernest Rhys was editor of the 
"Camelot Series" of popular reprints and translations in 
65 volumes (1885-1890), and now is critical editor of The 
Lyric Poets (Dent), one of the most delightful poets-series 
extant. 

CONTEMPORARY ANGLO-CELTIC POETS (MANX) 

THOMAS EDWARD BROWN, PAGE 307 

Was born at Douglas, in the Isle of Man, in 1830. After 
a career of exceptional distinction at Oxford, he was ap- 
pointed Vice-Principal of King William's College in the Isle 
of Man (1855). Since 1863 he has been assistant-master of 
Clifton College. The book by which Mr Brown is best known 
is his admirable Fo'c'sle Yarns (Macmillan, 1881 and 
1889), though the first of his tales in verse included therein, 
" Betsy Lee," appeared in Macmillaris Magazine in 1873 
where it at once attracted wide attention. He has also 
published The Doctor (1887) and The Manx Witch 
(1889). The author of Frfc'sle Yarns is by far the most 
noteworthy poetic representative of the Isle of Man. In 
range, depth of insight, dramatic vigour, keen sympathy, 
and narrative faculty, all transformed by the alchemy 
of his poetic vision, he is not only the foremost Manx 
poet, but one of the most notable of living writers in 
verse. It is probably because most of his poems deal 
almost wholly with Manx scenes and characters, and are 
for the most part written in the Manx dialect, that he is 
so little talked of by literary critics and so little known to 
the reading world at large. Than "Betsy Lee" (Fo'c'sle 
Yarns) there is no more moving, human, and beautiful 
poem, of the narrative kind, written in our time. The 
fragmentary lines by which the author is represented here 
were selected from one of his most characteristic Manx 
poems, and give a good idea of the common parlance of the 
islanders of to-day. It is from The Doctor : and Other 
Poems (Swan Sonnenschein, 1887). 

HALL CAINE. PAGE 309 

This fine Manx ballad of "Graih my Chree" appeared this 

year in the first number of London Home, to the editor and 

proprietor of which, as well as to Mr Hall Caine, I am indebted 

for the permission to include "Love of my Heart" here. 



NOTES 415 

Mr Caine, so celebrated as a novelist, has published no 
volume of poems ; but at rare intervals something of 
his in verse has appeared. I think that his earliest 
appearance as a poet was in Sonnets of this Century 
(1886, and later editions), where he is represented by two 
fine sonnets, " Where Lies the Land to which my Soul 
would go?" and "After Sunset." Mr Caine's own first 
acknowledged book was an anthology of sonnets (Sonnets 
of Three Centuries, Stock, 1882), published in the author's 
twenty-seventh year. Of his many books, the best known 
are his Recollections of Dante Gabriel Rosselti', and his 
romances, The Shadow of a Crime, The Deemster, The 
Bondman, The Scapegoat, and The Manxman. Mr Hall 
Caine is himself a Manxman, crossed with a strong 
strain of Cumberland blood. Both in his strength and 
weakness he is eminently Celtic, after his own kind ; for 
he could belong to no other Celtic people than either the 
Manx or the Welsh. He has, and not without good reason, 
been called the Walter Scott of Man. Certainly, The 
Deemster and The Manxman alone have revealed Manx- 
land and Manx life and character to the great mass of 
English readers. 

CONTEMPORARY ANGLO-CELTIC POETS 
(CORNISH) 

ARTHUR THOMAS QUILLER COUCH, PAGE 317 

So well known as "Q," was born at Bodwin, in Corn- 
wall, of an old Cornish family, in 1863. He left Trinity 
College, Oxford, for London ; but, after a brief experience 
of literary life in the metropolis, returned to the "Duchy," 
and has since resided there, mainly at Fowey. He is not 
only the most noteworthy living Cornishman of letters, and 
the romancer par excellence of contemporary Cornwall and 
Cornish life, but is acknowledged as one of the best 
story-tellers of the day. His first book was The Splendid 
Spur (1889), a stirring romance, which was followed 
by The Delectable Duchy, Noughts and Crosses, and 
/ Saw Three Ships. He has published little poetry ; 
and even in his slender volume, Green Bays (1893), there 
are not more than one or two poems, the other verses being 
for the most part what are called "occasional." If, how- 
ever, he had written nothing in verse except the lyric called 
" The Splendid Spur," he would be accounted a poet for 



4i6 LYRA CELTICA 

remembrance. " The White Moth " is the most distinctively 
Celtic poem he has written. In the main, he is more 
Cornish than Celtic in this a contrast to Dr Riccardo 
Stephens, who is far more distinctively Celtic than 
Cornish. 

ROBERT STEPHEN HAWKER. (1804-1875.) PAGE 319 

The celebrated vicar of Morwenstow (born at Plymouth) 
came of an old Cornish family, and spent the greater part 
of his life in the Duchy. In 1834 he became Vicar of 
Morwenstow, a remote parish on the Cornish sea-board. 
His best-known book is Cornish Ballads (1869); but 
the reader who may not be acquainted with his writings 
should consult the Poetical Works, and Other Literary 
Remains, -with a Memoir (1879). Hawker has much 
of the sombre note which is supposed to be characteristic 
of Celtic Cornwall. 

RICCARDO STEPHENS. PAGE 321 

Dr Stephens is a Cornishman settled in Edinburgh, 
where he practises as a physician. He has not, as yet, 
published any of his poems in book form ; but, none the 
less, has won (if necessarily, as yet, a limited) reputation 
by his exceedingly vigorous and individual poems. He 
has written several "Castle Ballads" (of which the very 
striking " Hell's Piper" given here is one) poems suggested 
by legendary episodes connected with Edinburgh Castle, 
or perhaps only vaguely influenced by that romantically 
picturesque and grand vicinage for Dr Stephens is one 
of the many workers, thinkers, and dreamers who congre- 
gate in the settlement founded by Professor Patrick Geddes 
on the site of Allan Ramsay's residence "New Edinburgh," 
as University Hall is sometimes called, an apt name in 
more ways than one. Dr Stephens is a poet of marked 
originality, and his work has all the Celtic fire and fervour, 
with much of that sombre gloom which is held to be 
characteristically Cornish. " Hell's Piper " has lines in it of 
Dantesque vigour, as those which depict, among "the 
shackled earthquakes," the "reeking halls of Hell," and 
the torture - wrought denizens of that Inferno. " The 
Phantom Piper " will never be forgotten by any one who 
has once read and been thrilled by this highly-imaginative 
poem. 



NOTES 417 



MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY BRETON 

THE POOR CLERK (IN BRETON, " AR C'HLOAREK PAOUR") 

PAGE 331 

is rather a mediaeval than a modern folk-poem. The trans- 
lation is that of the late Tom Taylor (Ballads and Lyrics t 
Macmillan), who has the following note upon it : " The 
Kloarek is a seminarist of Tre"guier, a peasant who has a 
turn for books, or shows some vocation for the priesthood. 
Their miserable life, hard study, and abnegation of family 
life are provocative of regretful emotion, passionate and 
mystic asceticism. The Kloarek is the poet and hero of 
most of the Breton SSnes ; Tre"guier, therefore, is the nursery 
of the elegaic and religious popular poetry of Brittany." 

THE CROSS BY THE WAY (KROAZ ANN KENT). PAGE 332 

Vide preceding Note. This translation is from the same 
source as last. 

THE SECRETS OF THE CLERK, AND LOVE SONG. 

PAGES 335-337 

See Note to " The PoorClerk." The first of these poemswas 
probably composed in the transition period late mediaeval 
or early modern. Both are given in the rendering of Mr 
Alfred M. Williams (vide " Folk-Songs of Lower Brittany " 
in Studies in Folk-Song and Popular Poetry (1895)). " The 
Love Song" is modern probably circa 1800, or even 1750. 

HERVE NOEL LE BRETON. PAGE 338 

For all particulars concerning this poet I must refer 
interested readers to Mr W. J. Robertson's brief memoir 
in that most delightful of all books of translation, A 
Century of French Verse (A. D. Innes & Co., 1895). This 
is without exception the ablest work of its kind we have. 
It is the production of one who is unmistakeably him- 
self a poet, who has the rare double power to translate 
literally, and at the same time with subtle art and charm, so 
that the least possible loss in translation is involved. In 
addition to these often exquisitely felicitous, and always 
notably able and suggestive renderings, Mr Robertson has 
prefixed to each representative selection a brief critical and 
biographical study of the poet represented short etudes 
of remarkable insight and critical merit. Of Herve Noel le 
Breton he gives some interesting particulars. The poet is 
2 D 



4i8 



LYRA CELTICA 



of the ancient Armorican race, and was born in Nantes in 
1851. He has not yet published any volume ; and it is 
from an unpublished collection, Rfrves et Symboles, that Mr 
Robertson has drawn. Strangely enough, neither in Tier- 
celin's Breton Anthology nor anywhere else can I find any 
allusion to Herve Noel le Breton : and his name is unknown 
to M. Louis Tiercelin, M. Anatole le Braz, and M. Charles 
Le Goffic, respectively the most eminent living Breton 
anthologist, Breton folk-lorist, and Breton poet-romancist 
and critic. For several reasons I take it that Le Breton is 
an assumed name ; and it is even possible that the Armorican 
blood is only in the brain, and not in the body of the author 
of Rfrves et Symboles. "The Burden of Lost Souls "is in 
three parts, of which that given here is the first. Here is 
the second : 

THE BURDEN OF LOST SOULS. 

II. 

This is our doom. To walk for ever and ever 

The wilderness unblest, 
To weary soul and sense in vain endeavour 

And find no coign of rest ; 

To feel the pulse of speech and passion thronging 

On lips for ever dumb, 
To gaze on parched skies relentless, longing 

For clouds that will not come ; 

Thirsty, to drink of loathsome waters crawling 

With nameless things obscene, 
To feel the dews from heaven like fire-drops falling, 

And neither shade nor screen ; 

To fill from springs illusive riddled vessels, 

Like the Danaiides, 
To grapple with the wind that whirls and wrestles, 

Knowing no lapse of ease ; 

To weave fantastic webs that shrink and crumble 

Before they leave the loom, 
To build with travail aery towers that tumble 

And temples like the tomb ; 

To watch the stately pomp and proud procession 

Of splendid shapes and things, 
And pine in silent solitary session 

Because we have no wings ; 

To woo from confused sleep forlorn the disrral 

Oblivion of despair ; 
To seek in sudden glimpse of dreams abysmal 

Sights beautiful and rare, 



NOTES 419 

And waking, wild with terror, see the vision 

Cancelled in swift eclipse, 
Mocked by the pallid phantoms of derision, 

With spectral eyes and lips; 

To turn in endless circles round these purlieus 

With troops of spirits pale. 
Whose everlasting song is like the curlew's, 

One ceaseless, changeless wail. 

Mr Robertson gives four poems by this poet : "La Plainte 
des Damn's," " Vers les Etoiles," " Le Tombeau du Potte," 
and "Hymne au Sommeil." His translation of the last- 
named also appears in this anthology. 

VILLIERS DE L'lSLE-ADAM. (1838-1889.) PAGE 342 

This famous French novelist and poet was born at 
St Brieuc, in Brittany, of parents who were each of old 
Breton stock. The full details of the life and work of 
Philippe- Auguste-Mathias de Villiers de 1'Isle-Adam, son 
of the Marquis Joseph de Villiers de 1'Isle-Adam and his 
wife Marie Fran9oise le Nepveu de Carfort, can be read 
in the recently - published Life, by the late Vicomte 
Robert du Pontavice de Heussey an English translation 
of which, by Lady Mary Lloyd, was issued last year by 
Mr Heinemann. This distinguished writer lived in mis 
fortune, and died amid darker shadows than those he had 
too long been bitterly acquainted with. His first volume 
of poems was published when he was little more than 
twenty years old as Mr Robertson says, "one of the 
most remarkable ever written by so young a poet." The 
young Breton poet came under the strong personal influence 
of Baudelaire, and in the process he lost much of his 
native Celtic fire and spirituality. Besides the poems given 
here, " Confession " ("Lfaveu") and " Discouragement " 
("Dfrouragement"), Mr Robertson translates, in his Century 
of French Verse, " Eblouissement" and "Les Presents." 

LECONTE DE LISLE. (1818-1894.) PAGE 344 

"The great Creole poet, Charles Marie Rene* Leconte, 
known as Leconte de Lisle, was the child of a Breton 
father and a Gascon mother, and was born at St Paul, 
in the isle of Bourbon (Reunion) in 1818. He had the 
Celtic clearness of vision and love of beauty, and the 
vigour and courage of the Pyrenean race. In his youth 
he travelled through the East Indies, and the vivid im- 
pressions of tropical colour and warmth which are visible 



420 LYRA CELTICA 

in his poetry derive their value from the personal observ- 
ation of Nature in those regions" (W. J. Robertson, A 
Century of French Verse). Leconte de Lisle, one of 
the greatest of modern French poets, is assured of im- 
mortality by his beautiful trilogy : Po'emes Antiqties 
(1852), Poemes Barbares (1862), and Poemes Tragiques 
(1884). The reader who, unfamiliar with this poet, wishes 
to know more of Leconte de Lisle and his work, cannot 
do better than turn first to Mr Robertson's biographical 
and critical memoir in A Century of French Verse. 
There, too, he will find five poems from Poemes 
Antiques, including the long " Dies Ira"; two from 
Poemes Barbares, and two from Poemes Tragiques. Of 
the two given here, the first ("The Black Panther") is 
from Poemes Barbares, and " The Spring" ("La Source") 
from Poemes Antiques. Leconte de Lisle strove after 
an ideal perfection of form. The spirit of that almost 
flawless work of his, is of intellectual emotion rather than 
of passion ; but in colour, and splendour of imagery, no 
romanticist can surpass him. He is of the great minds 
who create, calm and serene. He is often classed with 
the two great master-spirits of modern German and French 
literature ; but, while he has neither the lyric rush nor epic 
sweep of Victor Hugo, nor the philosophical modernity 
and innate human sentiment of Goethe, he is much more 
akin to the latter than to the former. For the rest, to 
quote Mr Robertson, "he gives the noblest expression 
to human revolt and desire, to ideal dreams, and to the 
pure and sometimes pathetic love of external nature." 

LEO-KERMORVAN. PAGE 348 

Leo-Kermorvan has been represented here as one of the 
most distinctively Celtic of the contemporary Breton poets. 
In translating his " Taliesen," as well as Louis Tiercelin's 
"By Menec'hi Shore," I have endeavoured to convey the 
atmosphere, as well as to be literal ; and, partly to this end, 
and partly because of a personal preference for unrhymed 
metrical translation, have not ventured to make a rhymed 
paraphrase. M. Kermorvan is a poet worthy to be named 
with his two most notable living compatriots, Tristran 
Corbiere and Charles Le Goffic. 

LOUIS TIERCELIN. PAGE 351 

(See foregoing note.) M. Tiercelin is a Breton poet and 
critic, perhaps best known as co-editor of the Parnasse de la 



NOTES 421 

Bretagne. No more characteristic Breton poem, apart from 
folk-poetry, could close Lyra Celtica. It is the keynote of 
the poetry that is common to all the Celtic races. 

THE CELTIC FRINGE 

BLISS CARMAN. PAGE 355 

Mr Bliss Carman, the trans- Atlantic poet who, it seems to 
me, has the most distinctive note of any American poet 
(and the word "American" is used in its widest sense), 
is of Scoto-Celtic descent through his father's side, and of 
East- Anglian through the maternal side ; but was born of 
a family long settled in Canada viz., at Fredericton, New 
Brunswick, in 1861. His poetry is intensely individual, 
and with a lyric note at once poignant and reserved. Work 
of very high quality is expected of him, on both sides of 
the Atlantic ; for his beautiful lyrics and poems have ap- 
peared in the periodicals of both countries. His slight 
volume, Low Tide on Grand-Pr (1893), is published in 
this country by Mr Nutt. About half of the Songs from 
Vagabondia (written in collaboration with Mr Richard 
Hovey) are of his authorship. This book, published in 
1894 by Messrs Stone & Kimball of Chicago, is to be 
had here through Mr Elkin Mathews. It is from the 
Songs that the stirring war-chant of "Gamelbar" comes. 

ELLEN MACKAY HUTCHINSON. PAGE 361 

This distinguished American lady is descended from old 
Highland stock. I know of no other book by her than 
Songs and Lyrics (Boston, Osgood & Co., 1881), but that 
is one which all lovers of poetry should possess. Miss 
Hutchinson's name is best known in connection with that 
colossal and invaluable work, the Cydopizdia of American 
Literature (eleven vols.), in which she was the collaborator 
of Mr Edmund Clarence Stedman. 

HUGH M'CULLOCH. PAGE 364 

This descendant of an old Highland family is the author 
of The Quest of Heracles (Stone & Kimball, Chicago, 1894). 

DUNCAN CAMPBELL SCOTT. PAGE 365 

Mr Scott is a member of one of the many Scoto-Celtic 
families settled in Canada. He was born at Ottawa in 1862, 
and is the author of The Magic House (1893). 



422 LYRA CELTICA 

THOMAS D'ARCY M 'GEE. (1821-1868.) PAGE 366 

This distinguished Irishman is to be accounted only an 
adopted American. He emigrated to the States in 1842, 
edited The Boston Pilot, and in 1857 went to Montreal 
and entered the Canadian Parliament. It was when 
returning from a night-session that he was assassinated in 
Ottawa by Fenian malcontents. 

MARY C. G. GILLINGTON (MRS BYRON) AND ALICE E. GILL- 
INGTON. PAGES 368-373 

These two sisters, whose names have become so deservedly 
well-known by their contributions to British and American 
periodicals, are of Celtic blood, though born and resident in 
England. They are included here as representative of the 
Anglo-Celtic strain so potent in England itself. The elder, 
Mrs Byron, was born in Cheshire in 1861. Their joint 
volume, Poems, was published in 1892. Mr Elkin Mathews 
has just published a volume entitled, A Little Book of Lyrics, 
by Mrs Byron. 






FORTHCOMING BOOKS 

TO BE PUBLISHED SHORTLY BY 

PATRICK GEDDES AND 
COLLEAGUES 



W. H. WHITE AND CO. 

EDINBURGH RIVERSIDE PRESS 

Distributing' Agents far 

the Publishers 



THE CELTIC LIBRARY PAGE 

(Fiction, &c.) - 425 

FICTION - 427 

BIOLOGY and SOCIOLOGY - 435 

POETRY - 438 

THE EVERGREEN - - - 441 



424 



Spring Announcements. 

(The Celtic Library.) 
FICTION. 

THE FIDDLER OF CARNE: A Romance. 

By ERNEST RHYS. 

This new book by Mr Ernest Rhys, and the longest 
and most ambitious work of fiction he has produced as 
yet, will be published in March. 

Cr. 8vo (with Celtic Cover Design), 6s. 

THE WASHER OF THE FORD: and other 
Legendary Moralities. 

By FIONA MACLEOD. 

Miss Macleod's new volume, to be published on or about 
May 1st, consists of Celtic Tales and Episodes, based 
upon surviving legendary lore, which deal with strange 
phases of past and present Celtic life and fantasy, Pagan 
and Christian. Cr. 8vo (with Celtic Cover Design), 6s. 

THE SHADOW OF ARV6R : and Other Breton 
Legendary Romances. 

By EDITH WINGATE RINDER. 

This new volume by Mrs Wingate Rinder comprises 
several English renderings of old Armorican legendary 
tales, all permeated by the Breton - Celtic atmosphere. 
Cr. 8vo (with Celtic Cover Design), 6s. 



(Celtic History and Mythology.) 

ARTHURIAN SCOTLAND: A Study in Celtic 
Romance-Lore. 

By J. S. STUART GLENNIK. 



NOTE. 

Volumes of "The Celtic Library" may be had in America 
through Messrs Stone & Kimball, The Caxton Building, 
Chicago. 

Volumes of "The Green Tree Library," "The Carnation 
Series," and other books by British and American writers, 
issued by Messrs Stone & Kimball of Chicago, may be ordered 
through Messrs Patrick Geddes & Colleagues. 

Latest Addition to the Green Tree Library. THE MASSACRE 
OF THE INNOCENTS : and other Tales. 

By M. MAETERLINCK, GEORGES ECKHOUD, and others, 
illustrative of the Belgian Renaissance. Selected and trans- 
lated by Mrs EDITH WINGATE KINDER. 55. nett. 



426 



BY FIONA MACLEOD. 

PHARAIS : A Romance of the Isles. 

(FRANK MURRAY, Derby.) 
(STONE & KIMBALL, Chicago.) 

THE MOUNTAIN LOVERS : A Romance. 
(JOHN LANE, London.) 
(ROBERTS BROS., Boston, U.S.A.) 

THE SIN-EATER: and other Tales. 

(PATRICK GEDDES & COLLEAGUES, 

Edinburgh. ) 
(STONE & KIMBALL, Chicago.) 

(To be published after Easter 1896.) 

THE WASHER OF THE FORD: and other 
Legendary Moralities. 

(PATRICK GEDDES & COLLEAGUES, 

Edinburgh.) 
(STONE & KIMBALL, Chicago.) 

LYRIC RUNES AND FONNSHEEN. 

(PATRICK GEDDES & COLLEAGUES, 
Edinburgh.) 



427 



FIONA MACLEOD. 

"The mast remarkable figure in the Scottish Celtic Renascence ; 
Miss Fiona Macleod, has now set three books before the public, 
and it is time to appraise her seriously." (From an article on 
Fiona Macleod and the Celtic Renascence in THE IRISH 
INDEPENDENT.) 

" A Celt of the Celts, Miss Macleod loVes this people, -who haVe 
the gift of charm loupes them, their country, and their legends, 
knows eVery curVe and spiral of their nature as she knows the 
aspects of the hills, the pull of the currents, and the Voice of the 
storm. The elemental passions of an elemental race are the 
themes of her stories.'"'' (THE PALL MALL GAZETTE.) 

"The -writings of Miss Fiona Macleod are gradually disclosing 
to the 'British public quite another Scotland than that -with -which 
Lowland writers haVe familiarised them." (THE BOOKMAN.) 

" The Central figure in the Scoto-Celtic Renascence." (THE 
DAILY NEWS.) 

" 'Primitive instincts and passions, primitive superstitions 
and faiths, are depicted 'with a passionate sympathy that acts 
upon us as an irresistible charm. We are snatched, as it were, 
from ' the 'world of all ofus'' to a 'world of magic and mystery, 
'where man is intimately associated 'with the "fast elemental 
forces of Nature." (THE NATIONAL OBSERVER.) 

" It is impossible to read her and not to feel that some magic 
in her touch has made the sun seem brighter, the grass greener, 
the -world more wonderful." (Mr GEORGE COTTERELL, in an 
article in THE ACADEMY.) 

" Miss Fiona Macleod V second book, ' The Mountain Lowers,'' 
fully justifies the opinions already formed of her exquisite handi- 
craft. . . . Her Vocabulary, in particular, is astonishing in its 
range, its richness, and its magic : she seems to employ eVery 
beautiful -word in the English language with instinctive grace 
and sense of fitness" (Mr GRANT ALLEN, in an article 
entitled "The Fine Flower of Celticism.") 

" The fascination of ' atmosphere ' in all Miss Macleod's work 
is extraordinary." (Mr H. D. TRAILL, in the GRAPHIC.) 

428 



" For sheer originality, other qualities apart, her tales are as 
remarkable, perhaps, as anything we have had of the kind 
since {Mr Kipling appeared. . . . Their local colour, their 
idiom, their whole method, combine to produce an effect which 
may be unaccustomed, but is therefore the more irresistible. They 
provide as original an entertainment as we are likely to find in 
this lingering century, and they suggest a new romance among 
the potential things of the century to come." (THE ACADEMY.) 

"Not beauty alone, but that element of strangeness in beauty 
'which Mr Pater rightly discerned as the inmost spirit of 
romantic art it is this 'which gives to {Miss {MacleocTs new 
volume its peculiar esthetic charm. But apart from and 
beyond all those qualities which one calls artistic, there is a 
poignant human cry, as of a voice 'with tears in it, speaking 
from out a gloaming which never lightens to day, 'which will 
compel and hold the hearing of many 'who to the claims of art 
as such are 'wholly or largely unresponsive. If I 'were to ask 
myself 'what 'were the external objects of contemplation -which 
have most strongly influenced CMiss CMacleod, I should say, first, 
wild Nature, felt not as a mere show of beauty or of 'wonder, 
but as a presence and a power ; second, the tragic pathos 
always cunningly interwoven with the fabric of human 
passion and human fate ; and, third though this, indeed, is 
hardly distinct from the second the strange, barbaric element, 
which sometimes breaks up even the thick crust of an 
elaborated civilisation, though it can naturally be observed 
most steadily and studied most closely among the unsophisticated, 
simple, elemental human beings 'who live not merely with 
Nature, but, so to speak, in her, and feel the stirrings of a 
conscious kinship. . . . The Qaelic nature is in some 'ways 
markedly un-Hellenic, and yet I think we have to go back to 
Greek tragedy for a rendering of the irresistible dominance of 
fate equal in imaginative impress iveness to some of these 
celebrations of the Western Gael's persistently fatalistic outlook 
upon human life." (JAMES ASHCROFT NOBLE in THE NEW 
AGE.) 

"Of the products of what has been called the Celtic Renas- 
cence, 'The Sin-Eater' and its companion Stories seem to us 
the most remarkable. They are of imagination and a certain 
terrible beauty all compact." (From an article in THE DAILY 
CHRONICLE on "The Gaelic Glamour.") 

429 



THE SIN-EATER : and Other Tales. 
BY FIONA MACLEOD. 

(PATRICK GEDDES & COLLEAGUES, 

Edinburgh.) 
(STONE & KIMBALL, Chicago, U.S.A.) 

OPINIONS OF THE SCOTTISH PRESS. 

The Scotsman. "The latest of Miss Fiona Macleod's 
books will infallibly strengthen the spell which she wields 
over those who have come within the circle of her Celtic 
incantations, and help to make good her claim to a peculiar 
place in the literature of her day and race. In all these 
wild tales from the shores of lona and the Summer Isles and 
from the hillsides of Mull saturated with the sweet and 
plaintive music, and heavy with the sadness and mystery of 
the land and people of the Gael in all these tales, from the 
beautiful ' lona ' prelude addressed to Mr George Meredith, 
the same refrain runs. All are steeped in the gloom and 
glamour of the gathering mist, the lowering cloud, the 
breaking wave : in all is the sense of the resistless power of 
destiny : and in all are manifest Miss Macleod's wonderful 
ear and delicate touch." 

The Glasgow Herald. " The new firm of Scottish pub- 
lishers whose imprint is on the title-page of this daintily- 
appointed book could scarcely have found a more striking 
or appropriate work with which to break ground. ... If 
anyone can read them unmoved, or fail alike to shudder, 
to admire, and to marvel at the stories, one does not envy 
his flat, unraised spirit. For such pieces again, as the 
beautiful and impassioned ' Harping of Cravetheen,' or 
' The Anointed Man,' with its delicate parable of the poet's 
soul, hardly any praise can be too high. Indeed, as The 
Mountain Lovers seemed to us to be an advance on 
Pharais, so this volume of stories seems to us to mark an 
advance on The Mountain Lovers. It unites beautiful 
and delicate language to a luxuriant fancy and a knowledge 
of the Gael that should yet take her very far indeed upon 
that high road of literature with which her individual by- 
path is now indissolubly connected." 



The Highland News, Inverness, 25th January 1896. 
" To-day we publish the first instalment of two articles 
dealing fully with the writings of Miss Fiona Macleod, the 
Highland novelist our own and only novelist. It is un- 
necessary, then, to say anything further here in appreciation 
of Miss Macleod's work ; she is a writer of whom the 
Highlands may well be proud." 



OPINIONS OF THE IRISH PRESS. 

The Irish Independent (from a leading article on Fiona 
Macleod and the Celtic Renascence). "The most remark- 
able figure in the Scottish-Celtic Renascence, Miss Fiona 
Macleod, has now set three books before the public, and it 
is time to appraise her seriously. She is a poet born, and 
the colour and strangeness she gets into her work are as of 
some land east of the sun and west of the moon rather than 
of some earthly islands to which one may journey. All she 
does is namelessly fascinating. She is like her own 
' Anointed Man ' ; she has seen the fairies, and she has also 
seen the underworld of terror and mystery. Her work is 
pure romance, and she strikes a strange note in modern 
literature. The Sin- Eater will assure Miss Macleod's 
position with literary people ; in this book she has 'arrived.' 
She is a woman of genius, and, like many people gifted so 
greatly, her message is often gloomy and terrible. But it 
is the spirit of the Celt, and her work another triumph for 
the Celtic genius. ' The Englishman can trample down the 
heather, but he cannot trample down the wind,' she says in 
her dedication to George Meredith, ' Prince of Celtdom,' 
and that wind of romance which breathes among the un- 
practical and poetical Celtic peoples stirs in every page of 
the new writer." 

The Northern Whig." In Pharais and The Moun- 
tain Lovers Miss Fiona Macleod gave abundant evidence 
of her astonishing range of vocabulary, its richness, and 
its magic. In the present volume, however, it may be said 
that the gifted writer has surpassed any of her previous 
efforts. Weird, tragic, and gloomy as are the stories of 
Neil Ross, the Sin- Eater, Neil MacCodrum, and Gloom 
Achanna, yet her description of these characters possesses a 
power of fascination which is absolutely irresistible." 

431 



OPINIONS OF THE LONDON AND ENGLISH 
PRESS (Earliest received). 

The Daily News. "The preface and stories have in 
their style and treatment that blending of vividness and 
dreaminess that gives so much distinction to this writer's 
work. Fiona Macleod is the central figure of that Celtic 
Renascence curiously going on side by side with the pro- 
gress of naturalism in fiction. These tales are, we think, 
the strongest and most characteristic she has yet given us. 
The charm and interest of the volume lie in the subtle 
apprehension and imaginative rendering of the ideals of 
a race whose standpoint toward life and the unseen is 
altogether remote from that of a practical and agnostic 
generation." 

The Morning Leader. " Miss Macleod has the intel- 
lectual and emotional equipment that enables her to appeal 
effectively to the whole English-speaking race, while she 
has the intense love idolatry is perhaps the truer word 
for the ' Celtic fringe ' that lends to her imagination an 
unearthly vividness that nothing else could give, and 
touches her almost with prophetic fire. Her weird story 
of the Wild Man of lona, who took upon himself the sins 
of a dead man whom he hated, could hardly be rivalled 
outside the pages of Maeterlinck. The startling effect 
made upon the reader's imagination cannot be set down 
merely to the writer's literary skill, great as that is. Much 
is due to the racial identification of the writer with the men 
and women she writes about. Her brain and heart are 
like unto theirs, and hence the secret of the sympathy and 
terror she creates." 

The National Observer. " The hand of the authoress of 
Pharais and The Mountain Lovers has lost none of its 
cunning. Miss Macleod's new volume is as remarkable as 
her earlier ones for sombre romance, striking imagery, and 
poetic expression. She has caught in no small degree the 
spirit of the Celt, with its gloom and superstition, its fixity 
of purpose, its harshness and nobility. Her tales, full of 
curious folk-lore, are always powerful and melancholy. 
The stern, rude nature she describes forms not only a 
fitting background to her characters, but seems, as it were, 
a part of them, necessary to them nay, they appear to 
spring from it, and be made by it." 

433 



The Pall Mall Gazette. " Miss Fiona Macleod has 
already won fame as an interpreter of the Celtic spirit. In 
her new book she gives us the essential emotional quality of 
her race in a series of studies which move, touch, and 
transport. She has the power of transporting which 
Matthew Arnold calls the test of poetry." 

The Graphic. "Critically, it remains to note Miss 
Macleod's mastery of a not, indeed, untried, but of a 
hitherto less frequently handled instrument of her art. Her 
telling of the title story and of certain of the others, notably 
the Dan-Nan-Ron, shows that she can command terror as 
powerfully as pity, which is saying much." 

Liverpool Mercury. "The book is full of an art that 
carries the imagination captive and leads it where it will. 
Moreover, there is a delicate strength of expression and a 
power of indicating the finest shades of meaning that is 
almost, if not absolutely, unique among living writers ; at 
any rate, we know of no one else who possesses it in an 
equal degree. On nearly every page some phrase strikes 
home with its freshness and truth. Those who take up 
T/ie Sin-Eater as a merely entertaining book may be 
disappointed ; but let them read it in the gloaming of a 
winter evening by the 'soft radiances of oil,' when the 
firelight dances on the wall and the imagination has freed 
itself from the cares that oppress the day, and they will find 
more than entertainment in the images of beauty and 
sadness and love with which this most charming volume 
abounds." 

The Weekly Sun. "Of whatever they treat, they never 
lose their glamour and witchery. . . . Sadness, love, 
magic, tragedy, intermingle here : the paramount impression 
at the close is that of beauty." 

The Daily Chronicle (in a review article on "The 
Gaelic Glamour"). " In the rendering of the Celtic vision 
of the wonder and mystery, the terror and beauty, both of 
visible Nature and of the something which lies just behind 
Nature, Miss Fiona Macleod is doing in prose what 
Mr W. B. Yeats is doing in verse. . . . The book is one 
every page of which takes us on to enchanted ground. Of 
the products of what has been called the Celtic Renascence, 
The Sin-Eater and its companion stories seem to us the 
most remarkable. They are of imagination and of a certain 
terrible beauty all compact." 

2 B 433 



BIOLOGY and 
SOCIOLOGY, etc. 



435 



"CURRENT SCIENCE" 

AN EVOLUTION SERIES 

(For full announcement see advertisement at end of 
Pasteur volume. ) 

8vo volumes. 
PASTEUR AND HEALTH. 

By J. ARTHUR THOMSON and Professor PATRICK 
GEDDES, authors of The Evolution of Sex, 
&c., &c. 

THE THREE FATES: A Study in Contemporary 
Biology (Function, Environment, Heredity). 

By J. ARTHUR THOMSON, author of Study of 
Animal Life, &c., co-author of The Evolution 
of Sex. 



436 






A NORTHERN COLLEGE : An Experimental Study 
in Higher Education. 

By Professor PATRICK GEDDES. 

This little book (illustrated) opens with an account of 
University Hall, Edinburgh, and narrates what has been 
done during the last nine years. It is also, however, of 
more general interest as an Experimental Study in Higher 
Education. 

"The 'house beautiful* is, of course, a single step towards 
the chief end of architecture the city beautiful. But to talk of 
the rebuilding of cities is to plunge into controversial economics, 
which is no part of the purpose of the Evergreen. Its policy is 
with reclamation rather than with declamation, with houses 
rather than with householders. But there is, too, a side of the 
movement which is directly educational. The endeavour is to 
organise a system of education based, not on use and wont, but 
on the organisation of knowledge, and in immediate relation to the 
realities of contemporary life, thought, and action. This involves, 
of course, a co-ordination of all the forces at the disposal of 
science and industry, of literature and art, of morals and religion, 
and their harmonious concentration on the training of the 
student. Here, again, theory and practice have proceeded hand 
in hand. And such experimental results as have been already 
achieved are likely to prove valuable in proportion as they are 
used as the seed-plots of further experiment. For these partic- 
ular experiments those interested in the Educational Revolution 
should be referred, however, not so much to the Evergreen as to 
a little book by Professor Geddes, announced to be in the press, 
entitled ' A Northern College Experimental Studies in higher 
Education.' " The Bookman. 



437 



POETRY 



LYRA CELTICA. 

An Anthology of Representative Celtic Poetry, from die 
m*r~** Irish, Alban-Gaelic, Breton, and Cymric Poets to 
the yoongest Anglo-Celtic Poets of To-day. Edited by 
ELIZABETH A. SHARP. With an Introduction on the 
Celtic Renascence, and Notes, by WILLIAM SHARP. 
Published at 6s. netL Cr. 8vo. (With Celtic Cover 
design by HELEN HAY.) 



POETRY 

(In Preparation.) 

In the Spring trill be published, at y. 6d. mtt, hi cloth Vn t 
jritk specially designed offers. 

LYRIC RUNES AND FONNSHEEN. 

Rones: Fonnsheen: and other Poems. By FIONA 
MACLEOD. 



(For Later Publication,} 

MUSA ARMORICA. 

A representative selection of poems by ancient, modern, 
and contemporary Breton-Celtic poets, translated into 
English Verse by Mr W. J. Robertson, author of A 
Century of French Verse (renderings of typical poems by 
thirty-three modern French poets, from Andre" Chenier 
to Jean Moreas : vide note on Mr Robertson at p. 338, 
et seq. in Notes to Lyra Celtita}. 



" Amongst the ' local and national ' traditions which patriotic 
Scotsmen are to-day trying to revive aud keep alive, the 
present Evergreen specially concerns itself with those connected 
wit A Scottish nationalism, Celtic literature and art, and the old 
Continental sympathies of Scotland (more particularly the 
1 ancient league with France '). The Evergreen of Spring and 
Autumn ga^e some evidence that the Continental connection is 
still a living and fruitful one. The Franco-Scottish Society 
now being organised in 'Paris and Edinburgh is a formal 
academic recognition of the lately revived custom of interchange 
between French and Scottish students. In the incipient Celtic 
Renascence, Ireland has played a much more conspicuous part 
than Scotland. But the writings of IMiss Fiona iMacleod are 
gradually disclosing to the British public quite another Scotland 
than that with which Lowland writers have familiarised 
them. And it is generally overlooked, too, that in Art the 
Qlasgow School, in consideration of its local origin and its 
emphasis on colour and decorative treatment of subject, may be 
counted congenitally part of the Celtic Renascence. To many, 
the most hopeless quest will seem the endeavour to restore 
Edinburgh to its position as a culture capital, and to make 
Scotland again a power (of culture) in Europe, as it was in 
recent, in mediteval, and most of all in ancient times. Yet who 
knows ? " (VICTOR BRANFORD in THE BOOKMAN.) 



440 



THE EVERGREEN 



THE EVERGREEN 

A NORTHERN SEASONAL 

PART I. THE BOOK OF SPRING 

CONTENTS 

J. ARTHUR THOMSON and W. MACDONALD. 



PROEM, 

I. Spring in Nature 
W. MACDONALD 

A Procession of Causes 
J. ARTHUR THOMSON 

Germinal, Floreal, 

Prairial 
PATRICK GEDDES 

Life and its Science 
HUGO LAUBACH 

Old English Spring 

W. G. BURN-MURDOCH 

Lengthening Days 
FIONA MACLEOD 
Day and Night 

II. Spring in Life 

HUGO LAUBACH 

A Carol of Youth 

PlTTENDRIGH MACGILLI VRAY 

Ane Playnt of Luve 
GABRIEL SETOUN 

The Crows ; Four Easter 

Letters 
RICCARDO STEPHENS 

My Sweetheart 
J. J. HENDERSON 

The Return 



III. Spring in the World 
DOROTHY HERBERTSON 

Spring in Languedoc 
VICTOR V. BRANFORD 

Awakenings in History 
W. MACDONALD 

Junge Leiden 
CHARLES SAROLEA 

La Litterature Nouvelle 
en France 

IV. Spring in the North 
FIONA MACLEOD 

The Bandruidh 
FIONA MACLEOD 

The Anointed Man 
WILLIAM SHARP 

The Norland Wind 
ALEXANDER CARMICHAEL 

The Land of Lome 
JOHN GEDDIE 

Gledha's Wooing 
GABRIEL SETOUN 

An Evening in June 
A. J. HERBERTSON 

Northern Springtime 
PATRICK GEDDES 

The Scots Renascence 



And Thirteen Full-page Drawings by W. G. BURN-MURDOCH, 
R. BURNS, JAMES CADENHEAD, JOHN DUNCAN, HELEN 
HAY, P. MACGILLIVRAY, C. H. MACKIE, PAUL SERUSIER, 
W. WALLS. 



442 



PART II.-THE BOOK OF AUTUMN 



Price 55. 
CONTENTS 



I. Autumn in Nature 
J. ARTHUR THOMSON 

The Biology of Autumn 
ROSA MULHOLLAND 

Under a Purple Cloud 

II. Autumn in Life 
PATRICK GEDDES 

The Sociology of Autumn 
SIR NOEL PATON 

The Hammerer 
MARGARET ARMOUR 

Love shall Stay 
SIR GEORGE DOUGLAS 

Cobweb Hall : a Story 
WILLIAM MACDONALD 

Maya 

III. Autumn in the World 
ELISEE RECLUS 

La Cite du Bon-Accord 



S. R. CROCKETT 

The Song of Life's Fine 

Flower 
C. VAN LERBERGHE 

Comers in the Night : a 

Drama 
THE ABBE KLEIN 

Le Dilettantisme 
EDITH WINGATE RINDER 

Amel and Penhor 

IV. Autumn in the North 
WILLIAM SHARP 

The Hill-Water 
JOHN MAC LEA Y 

The Smelling of the Snow 
SIR NOEL PATON 

In Shadowland 
FIONA MACLEOD 

Muime Chriosd: a 
Legendary Romance 



And Thirteen Full-page Drawings by ROBERT BURNS, JAMES 
CADENHEAD, JOHN DUNCAN, HELEN HAY, E. A. 

HORNEL, PlTTENDRIGH MACGILLIVRAY, C. H. MACKIE, 

and A. G. SINCLAIR. 

Head and Tail Pieces, after the manner of Celtic Ornament, 
drawn and designed in the Old Edinburgh Art School. 
Printing by Messrs CONSTABLE of Edinburgh. Coloured 
Cover, fashioned in Leather, by C. H. MACKIE. 

The First Series of THE EVERGREEN will consist of Four Parts : 
The Book of Spring (April 1895) 5 The B o k of Autumn 
(September 1895) ; The Book of Summer (May 1896) ; The 
Book of Winter (November 1896). 

443 



PART III. THE BOOK OF SUMMER. 
Price 55. 

(To be Published early in May.} 

In the Sections 

Summer in Nature. 
Summer in Life. 
Summer in the World, and 
Summer in the North. 

There will be contributions by Professor PATRICK GEDDES, 
J. ARTHUR THOMSON, WILLIAM SHARP, Sir GEORGE DOUGLAS, 
ELISEE RECLUS, Prince KROPOTKINE, and FIONA MACLEOD, 
among other writers. 

And Thirteen Full-page Drawings by HELEN HAY, JOHN 
DUNCAN, C. H. MACKIE, JAS. CADENHEAD, PITTENDRIGH 
MACGILLIVRAY, ROBERT BURNS, PEPLOE, N. PEPLOE, 
ROBERT BROUGH, and G. W. BURN-MURDOCH. 

Head and Tail Pieces, after the manner of Celtic Ornament, 
drawn and designed in the Old Edinburgh Art School. 
Printing by Messrs CONSTABLE of Edinburgh. Coloured 
Cover, fashioned in Leather, by C. H. MACKIE. 

The First Series of THE EVERGREEN will consist of Four Parts : 
The Book of Spring (April 1895) ; The Book of Autumn 
(September 1895) ; The Book of Summer (May 1896) ; The 
Book of Winter (November 1896). 



444 



REPRESENTATIVE PRESS OPINIONS. 

"It is the first serious attempt we have seen on the part of 
genius and enthusiasm hand-in-hand to combat avowedly and 
persistently the decadent spirit which we have felt to be over- 
aggressive of late. . . . We have in this first number of The 
Evergreen some score of articles, sketches, and tales, written 
round Spring and its synonyms youth, awakenings, renascence, 
and the like whether in human or animal life, in nations, in 
history, or in literature. And the result is a very wonderful 
whole, such as has probably never been seen before under 
similar conditions. It is an anthology rather than a symposium, 
and not only its intention but its execution makes its worthy to 
be read by all who pretend to follow the literary movements of 
our time." Sunday Times. 

"The first of four quarto volumes, devoted to the seasons, is 
a very original adventure in literature and art. It is bound in 
roughly embossed leather, very delicately tinted. It is superbly 
printed on fine paper, gilt edged over rubric at the top, and with 
rough sides. ... A high standard of literary quality is main- 
tained throughout." Birmingham Post. 

" Probably no attempt at renascence has ever been better 
equipped than that undertaken 'in the Lawnmarket of Edin- 
burgh by Patrick Geddes and Colleagues.' The Book of Spring 
is altogether of the stuff bibliographical treasures are made of." 
Black and White. 

" The Evergreen is unequalled as an artistic production, and 
while the organ of a band of social reformers in one of the 
poorest quarters of Edinburgh, it also touches an international 
note, and holds up the spirit of the best ideals in literature and 
art." London. 



" It is bad from cover to cover ; and even the covers are bad. 
No mitigated condemnation will meet the circumstances of the 
case." Nature. 

445 



Explicit 




PRINTED BY W. H. WHITB AND CO. 
EDINBURGH RIVERSIDE PRESS 



PLEASE DO NOT REMOVE 
CARDS OR SLIPS FROM THIS POCKET 

UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO LIBRARY 



PB 

1100 

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Sharp, Elizabeth Amelia (Sharp) 
Lyra celtica